Snakes have already started to become active across parts of Victoria ahead of their usual spring time arrival.
Senior Scientist from the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP)’s Arthur Rylah Institute (ARI), Nick Clemann, said: “Recent warmer weather has brought some snakes out of their winter hibernation.”
“People might be surprised to see snakes out this early in the year, but it’s not uncommon for them to be seen in August,” Mr Clemann said.
“Even before spring arrives, snakes will be starting to emerge from their winter retreats.”
“Snakes are more common around the urban fringe or in rural parts of Victoria, but they can also be found close to cities and towns, particularly around watercourses and parkland.”
“Tiger Snakes and Lowland Copperheads are the most frequently encountered snakes near the coast, while Eastern Brown Snakes are more common in drier areas. In some areas Red-bellied Black Snakes are also common.”
“It is rare for these snakes to bite people, however they are all dangerously venomous.”
“People often assume that snakes won't be around at this time of year, but depending on where people live they could encounter a snake while walking the dog, cycling, bush-walking, gardening or visiting parks.”
“Be aware that snakes may be around, and be informed on how to react to them.”
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 if the snake cannot remain where it has been found
- 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
- 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.
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