When a goanna made a surprise appearance at the Mimosa Winery’s restaurant one peaceful afternoon, a French waitress quickly took control of the situation.
On Sunday, Samia Lila was serving at the packed restaurant when a customer grabbed her hand and pointed at the unwelcome scaly visitor that was crawling across the floor.
“I looked at it and thought it was a dog at first!” Ms Lila said.
“But then I realised it was a goanna.”
About 180cm long, it went under one of the tables and the customers sitting there started to scream.
“Everyone was screaming, so I started screaming too!” Ms Lila said.
The 25-year-old put a chair in its path to try and buy time to think of what to do while stopping it from reaching customers.
Running out of options, the best she could think of was grabbing it by its tail and dragging it outside across the veranda and away from everyone – including past a woman who had by then jumped on her chair.
“I was just like a kid; I thought ‘I want to do it, I want to do it, I know it’s bad, but it was getting close to customers’,” Ms Lila said.
“I wasn’t scared, I like reptiles so was a bit excited.”
She has been in Australia since November and it was only the second time she had seen a goanna, after scaring one away from the winery’s vines last week.
A video of Ms Lila’s brave actions was posted on the Mimosa Wines Facebook page on Sunday and by Monday night it had been shared over 330 times and had 23,000 views.
The Normandy resident said she did not expect the video to go viral at all. Due to her actions, she has now been labelled the “Goanna Girl”.
She will be working at Mimosa Winery – and protecting it from goannas – under her Working Holiday Visa until June or July before she continues her travels.