Warm­ing up

Snakes alive for wet sea­son

Broome Advertiser - - Happenings - De­sanka Mi­jovic De­sanka Mi­jovic is a co-or­di­na­tor at Kim­ber­ley An­i­mals Na­ture and Ed­u­ca­tion.

Well, it’s the be­gin­ning of the wet and our snakes are now emerg­ing from hi­ber­na­tion.

At this time of the year, it has been many months since snakes last fed. As a re­sult, their venom glands are of­ten fuller, and bites are usu­ally much more se­vere.

Dogs and cats are most of­ten bit­ten around the head, limbs or in­side the mouth. You usu­ally will not find a bite site, so don’t waste your time look­ing, call the vet.

Of­ten the closer the bite is to the heart, the quicker the venom will be ab­sorbed into the pet’s sys­tem and dis­trib­uted around the body.

The king brown, which is ac­tu­ally in the black snake fam­ily, is more ven­omous than oth­ers.

The amount of venom in­jected and the site of the snake bite all con­trib­ute. Of­ten your pet will feel over­heated and seek a cool place to lie down; they can also vomit, salivate and be­come un­steady on their feet.

If you are out and about in the bush with your pet, be as­sured they could be fos­sick­ing around seek­ing a snake.

Please do not try to catch the snake for iden­ti­fi­ca­tion, a photo or a dead one is fine.

Na­tive An­i­mal Res­cue Broome co-or­di­na­tor Chris Mitchell said a va­ri­ety of rep­tiles can be found around Broome and Derby, some more dan­ger­ous than oth­ers.

“Most species are com­ing out of their se­cure shel­tered ar­eas, look­ing for food and will be more preva­lent,” he said. “As it rains, the frogs start mov­ing around and snakes are out chas­ing them — you will see wa­ter pythons in Broome, olive pythons and black headed pythons in Derby, as well as slightly ven­omous whip and moon snakes.”

Mr Mitchell said the two main snakes to avoid were the king brown or mulga and the west­ern brown or gwar­dar snakes.

“We rec­om­mend peo­ple ring rep­tile re­moval­ists — don’t in­ter­fere with them as most bites come from peo­ple try­ing to kill the an­i­mal.”

Pic­ture: Steven Dug­gan

Gree­nough Wildlife Park man­ager Michelle Jones catches a deadly king brown snake, also known as a mulga.

A king brown snake.

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