Snake cru­elly killed

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - Angelique Pat­ter­son

A 2 ME­TRE python was bru­tally killed with a large pot plant out­side the Beach Shack in Four Mile, Port Dou­glas, this week.

When Beach Shack staff ar­rived to work on Sun­day they were hor­ri­fied to find the dead python on the road, with their heavy me­tal­lic flower pot ly­ing dam­aged next to it.

Man­ager Caro­line Kirche said she was up­set when she found the dis­turb­ing scene and wanted to raise aware­ness that killing a python, or any na­tive an­i­mal, is il­le­gal.

‘‘We were all very up­set by it, in­clud­ing the neigh­bours, who ac­tu­ally dug a hole and buried the snake,’’ she said.

‘‘Pythons are harm­less and those bar­rels we use to put flow­ers in are very heavy and pretty much hid­den, so some­one has grabbed it and smacked the snake sev­eral times, it has been hit on dif­fer­ent parts of the pot - if some­one was fright­ened by the snake would have run away.

‘‘I don’t ever want to see that again, it’s up­set­ting and un­for­tu­nate like killing a green tree frog, it’s not nice.

We have to watch out for wildlife, we live in such a spe­cial part of the world we need to work with it not fight against it.’’

Wildlife Habi­tat op­er­a­tions man­ager Bruce Alexan­der said he was gutted when he heard the news.

‘‘I have a pas­sion for all forms of wildlife and snakes and some­one blud­geon­ing a snake to death for no ap­par­ent rea­son is just ridicu­lous, bla­tant mon­grelism,’’ he said.

‘‘It is not on and it’s il­le­gal, all na­tive wildlife in­clud­ing snakes and croc­o­diles are pro­tected and there are huge fines and even pos­si­ble jail terms in­volved if the cul­prit is caught and pros­e­cuted.

‘‘What I al­ways say is it’s per­fectly fine to be scared of snakes and per­fectly fine to dis­like them, but I just ask that no­body hates them.’’

If any­one comes across a snake in the wild, they are urged to con­tact the Wildlife Habi­tat, who even af­ter hours can con­nect peo­ple with reg­is­tered snake re­movers, rather than try­ing to take ac­tion them­selves.

‘‘Iron­i­cally a snake re­mover lived right next door to the Beach Shack and the python, which looks to be an amethys­tine python, is harm­less,’’ Mr Alexan­der said.

‘‘ Peo­ple that are bit­ten by snakes are, ma­jor­ity of the time, in the process of try­ing to catch and kill the snake. If you leave them alone you won’t put your­self into that risk.

‘‘It sick­ens me when some­one chooses to live in this wildlife haven and does that, it’s a mon­grel act.’’

If a snake needs to be re­moved, con­tact the Wildlife Habi­tat on 4099 3235 and if you have been bit­ten call triple-zero.

Do not wash the wound, ap­ply pres­sure to the ar­rear and re­main still.

BAT­TERED: dead python found in front of the Beach Shack

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