Snakes on move

Benalla Ensign - - News -

The Depart­ment of En­vi­ron­ment, Land, Wa­ter and Plan­ning is warn­ing that as the weather warms up Be­nalla’s cold-blooded rep­tile friends are be­com­ing more ac­tive and a lot more vis­i­ble.

The En­sign re­cently pub­lished a snake warn­ing from lo­cal vets, how­ever, DELWP re­gional man­ager en­vi­ron­men­tal com­pli­ance Nathan Stamkos is ask­ing the pub­lic to watch out for them­selves as well.

‘‘Snakes are emerg­ing from their win­ter hi­ber­na­tion to bask in the sun and to search for food and a mate,’’ Mr Stamkos said.

‘‘The re­cent sunny weather also means peo­ple are spend­ing more time out­doors and it is quite likely they will en­counter a snake.

‘‘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.

‘‘These 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.

‘‘Snakes are known to bite an­i­mals, such as dogs, if they feel 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.

‘‘We would like to take this op­por­tu­nity to re­mind ev­ery­one that snakes play an im­por­tant role in our ecosys­tem and are pro­tected un­der the Wildlife Act 1975.

‘‘It is il­le­gal to cap­ture, harm, or kill them.

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

‘‘Be­ing aware that snakes may be around, and be­ing in­formed about how to re­act to them, are the most im­por­tant as­pects of man­ag­ing snakes.’’

If you live in an area snakes, please re­mem­ber: with

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, phone DELWP on 136 186 for fur­ther 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; and Un­der­take first-aid train­ing and en­sure your first-aid kit con­tains sev­eral com­pres­sion ban­dages, and if some­one is bit­ten, phone 000 im­me­di­ately.

●●

Leave them be: DELWP is ask­ing the pub­lic to be wary of snakes as the weather warms up.

Eyes on the prize: Mem­bers of the North East Archers in Be­nalla take aim.

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