Res­i­dents warned to be aware of snakes

Whitsunday Times - - LOCAL NEWS -

A SNAKE SKIN mea­sur­ing 6.1 me­tres in length was found on a prop­erty near Paluma Road last month.

The skin be­longs to a scrub python that has vis­ited the Pelt fam­ily’s Can­non­vale home for quite some time.

Adrian Pelt said he and his wife Suzette had known about the python for a num­ber of years as it “sort of spent winter up in the ceil­ing”.

Mr Pelt last saw the snake in Oc­to­ber 2012 and de­scribed it as “quite a sight” but he was even more im­pressed when the mas­sive skin was found dur­ing a rou­tine an­nual ter­mite in­spec­tion a few weeks ago.

Mr and Mrs Pelt mea­sured the skin at a con­ser­va­tive 6.1 me­tres.

They sent it to their daugh­ter Mor­gan who is study­ing en­vi­ron­men­tal man­age­ment at Grif­fith Univer­sity.

When Mor­gan posted a photo of the skin on her Face­book page it was seen by long-term lo­cal and for­mer Whit­sun­day Times jour­nal­ist Kimberley Vla­sic, who now writes for the Courier Mail.

Ms Vla­sic wrote a story about the snake, which went on­line on Septem­ber 18.

Lo­cal snake catcher Kylee Gray said scrub pythons were the most com­mon species found in the Whit­sun­days. She es­ti­mated the skin found by the Pelts would be 25-30 per cent larger than the ac­tual snake as “it has to stretch con­sid­er­ably to come off the snake’s body”.

Ms Gray col­lected a 4.5m scrub python, weigh­ing 16kg, from Tim­ber­land Road on Mon­day night – the big­gest live snake to be found this sea­son to date. She ad­vised lo­cal res­i­dents not to give snakes places to hide.

“Clean up all your rub­bish and clut­ter be­cause any­thing that har­bours rats, mice, frogs or geckos will at­tract them,” she said.

She also warned res­i­dents to look af­ter their pets and not to ap­proach, cor­ner or ha­rass snakes “be­cause that is how you can get bit­ten”.

“Peo­ple should al­ways con­tact a li­censed snake catcher to re­move them.” Ms Gray can be con­tacted on 0424 456 254 or via www.snakeinthe­whit­sun­days.com.

MEA­SURED: Can­non­vale res­i­dents Adrian and Suzette Pelt found this scrub python skin on their prop­erty and mea­sured it at a con­ser­va­tive 6.1m in length. This im­age shows the size of the head.

GREAT CATCH: Whit­sun­day snake catcher Kylee Gray han­dling the 4.5m scrub python she caught at Tim­ber­land Road in Ju­bilee Pocket on Mon­day.

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