Picture: Facebook

Sydney - A snake that was found in a Queensland swimming pool covered in ticks is recovering in an animal hospital after having 511 ticks removed, the Currumbin Wildlife Hospital reported on its Facebook account.

The carpet python was found in the backyard pool in Coolangatta on the Gold Coast and snake catcher Tony Harrison said the snake was trying to drown the ticks that covered its body.

The python was taken to the Currumbin Wildlife Hospital for treatment, where it underwent testing and had 511 ticks removed from its body over several hours.

On Facebook Monday the hospital thanked the many well wishes sent for the snake, who has been named Nike.

The hospital said the ticks had left Nike suffering from anaemia.

"Nike also has a nasty infection which may have caused his immobility, allowing the ticks to take advantage of him.

"Nike isn't out of the woods yet, but we are hopeful he will make a full recovery and be released back into the wild in the coming months."

University of Queensland Professor of Parasitology, Stephen Barker, said male ticks attach to a reptile waiting for a female to attach and then seek to mate.

"She'll drop off and lay her eggs, and the male will just stay there. They might stay there their entire life until they're completely worn out or too old, then die," Barker told the national broadcaster ABC.

He said it would take ten to twelve hours to drown a tick.

dpa