Slither­ing around

The Cobram Courier - - NEWS - Jarod Lyn

With the weather heat­ing up, peo­ple close to bush­land are be­ing en­cour­aged to re­main wary of snakes.

The Depart­ment of En­vi­ron­ment, Land, Wa­ter and Plan­ning re­gional en­vi­ron­men­tal com­pli­ance man­ager Nathan Stamkos said snakes were emerg­ing from win­ter hi­ber­na­tion to bask in the sun and to search for food.

‘‘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,’’ he said.

‘‘Those 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.’’

He said snakes were known to bite an­i­mals, such as dogs, if they felt 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.’’

Peo­ple are re­minded that snakes play an im­por­tant role in the ecosys­tem and are pro­tected un­der the Wildlife Act 1975.

‘‘It is il­le­gal to cap­ture, harm, or kill them,’’ Mr Stamkos said.

‘‘Re­ports of peo­ple will­fully de­stroy­ing pro­tected wildlife will be in­ves­ti­gated ac­cord­ingly.’’

If you live in an area with snakes, re­mem­ber:

● When left alone, snakes present lit­tle or no dan­ger to peo­ple.

● If you see a snake, keep calm and move your­self and any­one with you, in­clud­ing pets, away from the area.

● Do not at­tempt to cap­ture or harm snakes. In­stead con­tact DELWP on 136 186 for ad­vice or call a li­censed snake catcher.

● Main­tain lawns and clean up around your house, as snakes are at­tracted to shel­ter, such as piles of rocks and tim­ber, sheets of me­tal and build­ing ma­te­ri­als.

● Com­plete first aid train­ing and make sure your first aid kit con­tains sev­eral com­pres­sion ban­dages and, if some­one is bit­ten, call 000 im­me­di­ately.

Watch for snakes: Peo­ple are be­ing en­cour­aged to be wary of snakes, such as east­ern browns, as the weather warms up. Pic­ture:

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