Spring in Victoria – we all love it, even snakes
THE arrival of spring weather means that everyone is wanting to get out of doors, at the same time as Victoria’s snakes are starting to become more active.
Senior scientist from the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning’s (DELWP) Arthur Rylah Institute (ARI) Nick Clemann said: “Throughout Victoria at this time of year snakes are emerging from winter hibernation to get some sun, look for food and a mate.
“Spring means many people want to get out and do things l i ke walking dogs, cycling, bush-walking, enjoying parks and gardening so, depending on where they live and walk, they are likely to see a snake,” Mr Clemann said.
“Snakes are more common in areas around the urban fringe or in rural areas, but they do turn up surprisingly close to cities and towns, especially around watercourses and in parkland,” he said.
“Closer to the Victorian coast the most frequently encountered snakes are Tiger Snakes and Lowland Copperhead, while in the drier areas, Eastern Brown Snakes are common and Redbellied Black Snakes are also encountered.
“All four species are dangerously venomous, but it is rare for them to bite people.
“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 with snakes please remember:
if you see a snake - keep calm and try to move yourself, anyone with you and your pets away from the snake;
never touch or attempt to capture or hurt snakes – instead call DELWP on 136 186 for further advice, or call a licensed snake catcher;
have a spring clean - clean up around the house and cut lawns regularly – snakes are attracted to shelter such as piles of rocks and timber, sheets of metal, or building materials;
undertake first aid training, ensure your first aid kit contains several compression bandages, and if someone is bitten, call 000 immediately; and
snakes are protected under the Wildlife Act 1975 - it is illegal to capture, kill or harm them. Bites can occur when people try to kill snakes.
I’M BEAUTIFUL: PHOTO: Pam Zierk-Mahoney
DEMON GLORY: It was reported as “the most successful season in history” as Mansfield seniors defeated Shepparton East by 118 points, the reserves winning by 43 points.
HOLIDAY HAZARDS: The start of the school holidays were overshadowed by a huge blizzard on Mt Buller, knocking out telephone networks, while one fatality and several injuries arose out of a number of car accidents.
SNAKES ALIVE: Warmer days means snakes are alive and active - watch for them in gardens and on walks - copperheads are common to the Mansfield region.