Snakes slither into spring
WARMING weather is seeing snakes now become more active and a lot more visible across the Alpine Shire.
The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) Regional Manager of Environmental Compliance, Nathan Stamkos, said that snakes are emerging from their winter hibernation to bask in the sun and to search for food and a mate.
“The recent sunny weather also means people are spending more time outdoors and it is quite likely they will encounter a snake,” he warned.
Eastern brown snakes are the most common in north east Victoria with the occasional tiger snake or red bellied black snake, which are usually found around wetlands, creeks and rivers.
“These three species are highly venomous, but it is rare for them to bite people. Most snake bites are received by people who try to capture or kill a snake,” Mr Stamkos said.
“Snakes are known to bite animals, such as dogs, if they feel threatened. If your dog or cat encounters a snake, the best course of action is to remove your pet from the area or tie it up while the snake passes. If you suspect your pet has been bitten take it to a vet immediately.
“We would like to take this opportunity to remind everyone that snakes play an important role in our ecosystem and are protected under the Wildlife Act 1975.”
It is illegal to capture, harm, or kill a snake and reports of people wilfully destroying protected wildlife will be investigated accordingly.
“Being aware that snakes may be around, and being informed about how to react to them, are the most important aspects of managing snakes,” Mr Stamkos said.
People are reminded that if they see a snake to keep calm and to move themselves or anyone with them away from the area.
For further advice or to have the snake removed call DELWP on 136 186 or a licensed snake catcher.
Locals are urged to maintain lawns and clean up around their houses, as snakes are attracted to shelter such as piles of rocks and timber, sheets of metal, and building materials.
People are also encouraged to undertake first aid training and to ensure their first aid kit contains several compression bandages.
If someone is bitten, call 000 immediately.