Rep­tiles warm­ing up

Snake warn­ing as weather warms.

Fremantle Gazette - - NEWS - Jes­sica Nico

ST John Am­bu­lance WA is urg­ing peo­ple to be ex­tra vig­i­lant when out­doors as snakes and spi­ders start to be­come more ac­tive with the warm­ing weather.

St John State Op­er­a­tions Cen­tre gen­eral man­ager Phil Martin said they of­ten recorded a spike in bite call-outs in Septem­ber.

“Tra­di­tion­ally we at­tend to more cases of snake and spi­der bites in spring and early sum­mer, with 104 peo­ple treated for snake bites last fi­nan­cial year and 118 peo­ple at­tended to for spi­der bites,” he said.

“Aus­tralia has around 100 snakes that are ven­omous and al­though there are only 12 species whose venom can kill, all snake bites should be treated as po­ten­tially life-threat­en­ing and treated as a med­i­cal emer­gency.

“If you in­tend to travel or ven­ture out­doors, we would rec­om­mend you learn some ba­sic first aid, or at the very least arm your­self with a first-aid kit that in­cludes a first-aid guide and items such as pres­sure ban­dages.”

He said snake bite symp­toms could in­clude dif­fi­culty breath­ing, speak­ing or swal­low­ing, headaches, im­paired vi­sion, nausea and drowsi­ness. He urged peo­ple to call 000 im­me­di­ately if they were bit­ten.

“While wait­ing for paramedics, keep the pa­tient still and calm, lay them flat and wrap a ban­dage over the site of the bite, then ap­ply a pres­sure ban­dage start­ing from the fin­gers or toes and wrap up­wards as far as you can go,” he said.

City of Cock­burn en­vi­ron­men­tal ser­vices act­ing man­ager Vicky Har­till said it was im­por­tant for lo­cals to be vig­i­lant around coastal ar­eas, wet­lands and bush­land.

“In open spa­ces, es­pe­cially those that abut nat­u­ral ar­eas, and nat­u­ral bush­land/wet­land and coastal ar­eas, the City en­cour­ages res­i­dents to ex­er­cise dogs on leashes at all times and stick to paths, trails and walk­ways,” she said.

“If res­i­dents en­counter a snake, we en­cour­age them to keep calm and slowly back away to a safe dis­tance and al­low the snake to move away, or turn around and go back the way you came.

“If a snake is found on pri­vate prop­erty, res­i­dents can con­tact the Wild­care Helpline 9474 9055.”

City of Fre­man­tle com­mu­nity safety act­ing team leader Teigan Reilly said Booy­eem­bara Park and South Beach were two lo­ca­tions were snakes were of­ten sighted and re­ported.

“If a snake is sighted in a pub­lic place peo­ple can con­tact the com­mu­nity safety and rangers team on 1300 360 666 to at­tend,” she said.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.