A Star Wars fan has been saved from a poisonous snake bite thanks to his Stormtrooper costume. Scott Loxley, who is raising money for charity by walking around Australia disguised as a desert stormtrooper from the classic sci-fi epic, claimed he was attacked by a King Brown snake near Yalboroo in Queensland. The 47-year-old said he thought the snake was dead but that the highly venomous reptile tried to sink its teeth into his shins, only to be stopped short by the plastic armor of his costume. The daring do-gooder from Greensborough in Victoria, who began his trek around Oz in 2013, tells Metro about his close encounter with the snake.
Why are you walking around Australia in a Stormtrooper costume?
It not only raises awareness for the Monash Children's Hospital in Melbourne which I support, but also allows the kids in the hospital to follow the Stormtrooper on his travels while their treatments are ongoing. Hopefully, it distracts them a little from what they have to deal with.
Why did you pick a Stormtrooper outfit?
I am a member of the 501st Legion, an international not-for-profit Star Wars costuming organisation that gives their time to raise much needed funds for various charities both in Australia and around the world.
And the costume saved you from a deadly snake?
I was just coming out of a little countryside town and making my way up a hill when I noticed a snake ahead of me on the side of the road in the grass. At the time I didn't think too much about it as I had seen dangerous snakes for days before. While passing, it raises its head and looked at me. It was a King Brown! I was only 15 centimeters from it when I realised I was in trouble. The snake struck at me and grabbed onto the back of my right calf; I could feel its teeth scraping against the shin armor. It then recoiled back and I moved beside my trolley cart and put it in between the snake and myself. I looked down at my leg waiting to feel the hot sensation of the venom. I knew it would cause massive haemorrhaging. But the snake's teeth did not penetrate the armor. I couldn't believe my luck!
What happened next?
I looked over at the trolley to see where the snake was lying. I moved left and so did he, I moved right and so did he. The King Brown was tracking me and that he didn’t finish. He was by far the most aggressive snake I have ever come across. I continued to keep the trolley between us and slowly moved it away from him. After about 20 seconds or so he turned around and moved off back into the cane field from whence he came.
So, the Stormtrooper costume saved your life. But isn’t it excruciatingly hot inside it?
Some days it is unbearable, but I am determined to finish the walk in the costume.
How much further will you be walking?
I have been walking for over a year now and have about five months to go. It should take in total 18 months to complete.
Snakes aside, what has been the most amazing experience of your trip?
Walking through the outback was amazing. I walk both during the night as well as the day. Being alone in the middle of nowhere with just yourself and the wildlife has been an awesome experience.