Snake fight fuels fears

Shepparton News - Country News - - OPINION -

Nan­neella’s Liz Wil­liams said be­fore Jan­uary 12, she had only seen one snake this sum­mer.

But that day she wit­nessed a fight to the death be­tween an eastern brown snake and a tiger snake in her back­yard.

Ms Wil­liams said not only did the snakes fight, once the brown had killed the tiger it pro­ceeded to eat it.

‘‘It was amaz­ing. I didn’t even know they would fight like that, let alone eat one an­other,’’ Ms Wil­liams said.

‘‘My niece posted some video of the event and I learnt there was a real con­trast in peo­ple’s re­ac­tions — from fas­ci­na­tion to fear,’’ she said.

‘‘Half the peo­ple who saw our post said they would not be visit­ing us again.’’

Ms Wil­liams said there was plenty of wa­ter — and frogs — on their prop­erty near Rochester, which ap­pealed to the snakes but also meant they left peo­ple alone.

‘‘I would not usu­ally call a snake catcher for a snake sight­ing but Mer­rigum’s Craig Bergman came and when he ar­rived said he hadn’t seen that be­fore in 20 years in his line of busi­ness.

‘‘I had as­sumed the tiger should have won but Craig told me the brown will al­ways come out on top.

‘‘As the brownie hadn’t fin­ished his meal, Craig very care­fully and slowly lifted them into his bag.’’

Mr Bergman rang later to re­port with only a few cen­time­tres to go, the brown snake must have de­cided the meal was too big and re­gur­gi­tated it.

He said the eastern brown was about 125 cm long and the tiger about 100 cm.

With the snake video on ev­ery­one’s minds, Mr Bergman said it was a timely re­minder for peo­ple to re­main calm if they spot­ted a snake.

Ser­vic­ing ar­eas as far as Be­nalla, Wan­garatta and Nagam­bie, to Sey­mour and Echuca, in the past week he has re­moved snakes from homes, front yards and even bird aviaries.

Mr Bergman said there had been an in­crease in snake num­bers due to the num­ber of ro­dents around, a re­sult of the flood­ing last month.

He said de­spite the weather heat­ing up sig­nif­i­cantly, snakes were more likely to ap­pear on milder days and were more ac­tive at night.

‘‘Gen­er­ally what I sug­gest is if some­one comes re­ally close to one, just stand still and don’t move at all, es­pe­cially in they’re in a strike po­si­tion.

‘‘If you move, they’re go­ing to go for you, but if you act like a tree they’ll set­tle down, drop down and go on their way.

‘‘They’ll try more to get away from you than they will to bite, and gen­er­ally you’ve got to be re­ally ag­gres­sive to­wards a snake for it to strike.’’

See the video at: www.coun­

Vi­ral video . . . A screen­shot from the video show­ing an eastern brown killing and eat­ing a tiger snake.

Fa­tal fight . . . A tiger snake and eastern brown were seen fight­ing to the death on a Nan­neella farm.

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