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: