Whitsunday Times - - FRONT PAGE -

ALTHOUGH Trop­i­cal Cy­clone Owen left the Whit­sun­day and Cen­tral Coast gen­er­ally un­scathed, the wildlife felt dif­fer­ently and be­haved ac­cord­ingly.

Lo­cal snake catcher Kylee Gray said her phone had been ring­ing “off the hook” and although the se­vere weather warn­ing ended up be­ing some­what over­es­ti­mated, fauna were still pre­par­ing for the worst.

“They sense some­thing. They know what’s go­ing on be­fore we do, and they can sense things chang­ing,” Ms Gray said.

Ms Gray said most of the call-outs were for snakes, par­tic­u­larly pythons.

“There were a lot more snakes in­side homes than nor­mal.

“They move to higher ground, away from the weather.

“I found them up high in sheds on shelv­ing, on cur­tain rails, any­where up high re­ally.

“They were just there to wait out the weather, and to keep warm and dry.”

Ms Gray said it wasn’t just scaly rep­tiles seek­ing shel­ter, with swarms of in­sects scur­ry­ing to safety too.

“I’ve no­ticed ants higher up than they would be. We’ve had wolf spi­ders in­side, and all sorts of in­sects seek­ing shel­ter,” Ms Gray said.

Of­ten be­fore a large weather event or be­fore a big storm, Ms Gray said her­self along with other wildlife car­ers in the area of­ten had an in­flux of calls.

“When you’ve got a big sys­tem build­ing, we do no­tice the calls com­ing in more fre­quently,” she said.

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