Reptile expert advises locals on snake season

Photo by Anne Box of red-bellied black snake on Bennett’s Beach

 

NEWS Of The Area caught up with Oakvale Wildlife Park’s reptile keeper Bailey Smith for some of his top tips for this snake season.

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“With the weather starting to warm up, there are more and more snakes coming out,” he said.

“To avoid those unwanted guests coming into your backyard there are some things you can do.”

“The first thing is to try and keep your yard tidy by removing things like sheets of tin and wood piles.”

“Keeping your gardens maintained will also reduce places for snakes to hide.”

Snake bites occur when the animal feels threatened, and Mr Bailey said that most bites are a result of someone trying to catch or kill the snake.

“If you come across a snake in your yard you should never try to catch or kill it,” he said.

“Get all your pets and family inside and try to keep an eye on the snake and where it’s going while you call a local snake catcher to safely come and remove it from your area.”

In the Hawks Nest area, some of the most common venomous snake species are red-bellied black snakes, eastern brown snakes, death adders and tiger snakes.

There are also some non-venomous snake species, including coastal carpet pythons and diamond pythons.

If you do get bitten by a venomous snake, Mr Bailey said to remember these couple of things that may potentially save your life.

“First, don’t wash the bite area as it will make it hard for the doctors to determine which species of snake has bitten you,” he said.

“Bandage the whole limb – if you’re bitten on the hand for instance, bandage from the tip of your fingers all the way up to your shoulder.”

“Finally, try to restrict movement of the body or limb to slow the spread of venom and go straight to the hospital.”

 

By Ashley CHRYSLER

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