Be smart during snake season
SNAKE season is well and truly upon us and it’s a popular topic: what to do with an unwelcome slithery creature?
Dilarnil snake catcher Andrew Buckley often comes across comments, especially on social media, that disappoint him.
“People often say, ‘Just kill it’,” Mr Buckley said.
“It’s not only very dangerous but it’s against the law.”
The more remote the area, the more this attitude occurs as “people like to try and sort things out themselves”.
Mr Buckley says most snake bites occur when people try to harm or kill snakes, and is urging people: “instead of picking up a shotgun, pick up the phone”.
“Snakes are a vital part of the ecosystem; without them we’d be overrun by mice and rats that people consider pests,” he said.
“Think: Is this creature actually helping me? It’s a ‘the enemy of my enemy is my friend’ type of thing.”
This year’s snake season kicked off early, at start of spring, due to unusually warm weather.
As a snake catcher Mr Buckley is passionate about dispelling the bad rap that snakes get.
“My job is about education,” he said.
“When I do a rescue, I let people touch it. That dispels the myth of them being slimy and all of that.
“You see their faces change as the ideas they get from movies go out the window.
“It might take five minutes for me to catch the snake but I could spend another hour talking to the people, and they pass that information on to their friends.”
Mr Buckley said the recent attack by a taipan on Agnes Water toddler Eli Cervantes was “very sad”.
“Unfortunately when humans and animals come together accidents can happen.
“It seems likely he may have startled the snake which struck him.
“I have kids myself and it’s always a concern.”
He hopes his two-year-old son, who already keeps a bearded dragon and a blue
Most bites occur when people try to harm snakes. — Snake catcher Andrew Buckley
tongue lizard, will grow up with an affinity for animals.
He said he planned to rebut recent comments on radio that suggested snakes deliberately hunt domestic animals.
“Snakes don’t come out to purposely attack.
“They went on to say that brown snakes will target your pets and go after them. False information keeps perpetuating these fears.
“In general brown snakes are quite docile and more defensive if anything.
“Most times when pets get bitten it’s because they to stick their nose in and paw at things.
“They’re dangerous, but only in the wrong situation.”
He warns young, energetic snakes are often more active and aggressive than large ones, “like little dogs”.
Andrew Buckley runs Buckley Snake Relocation Services, servicing around Bundaberg, Childers, Gin Gin and Biggenden on Facebook or 0456 934 578.
UNFAIRLY DEMONISED: Snake catcher Andrew Buckley has a passion for creatures great and small.
SLITHERY FRIEND: Snake catcher Andrew Buckley with a python earlier this year.