Staff and patients at a Melbourne hospital were left shaken when a snake was found in a patient's bed.
The shocking discovery was made on Christmas Eve at Austin Health's Royal Talbot Rehabilitation Centre in Kew.
An Austin Health spokesman said that the snake - a 45 centimetre juvenile tiger snake - was caught in the bed's mechanisms and was badly injured when found.
"The patient was moved to another bed, the room was closed and a snake handler called," the spokesman said. The snake was then killed.
The bed in question had been moved from a holding area, where the snake is believed to have gotten into the bed.
Centre staff have since added snake deterrent strips to doors, and signs have been posted to make visitors aware of the prevalence of snakes, the spokesman said.
He added that staff at the Victorian Poisons Information Centre, part of Austin Health, had received 30 calls in the past week about snake bites, many more than usual.