Snakes awake and on the move on the Coffs Coast

Carpet pythons warmed in the spring sun are on the move.

SNAKES, like many Coffs Coast residents, are warming to the season’s sunshine and heading down to the beach.

The late September/early October period has seen the slumbering reptiles on the move, with Coffs Harbour Surf Life Saving Club posting a photo on its Facebook page showing a carpet python having a day out on Woolgoolga beach.

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The post said, “Take care around the dunes at all beaches, second snake of the year observed, this one at Woolgoolga.”

Kenny Damaschke, a reptile expert at WIRES had a chat with News Of The Area about what to do if you see a carpet python.

With a huge population of the said snake on the Coffs Coast, you just might come across one, but if you do, you shouldn’t panic and shouldn’t hurt it.

“The Coastal Carpet Python can be quite elusive; they know where they’re going and they move really well camouflaged…most of the time,” Kenny told NOTA.

“People tend not to spot them but when the snakes go out somewhere very public we do get a lot of reports of the same snake being sighted.

“It’s not unusual, it’s uncommon.”

Now Spring has sprung, they have begun moving around.

Reptiles are ectothermic, they rely on their environment to gain body temperature, which they use to metabolise their food and create energy.

“These guys need those extra few degrees that we don’t see over the winter to get out and about.”

So what was the carpet python looking for on the beach?

“When we say ‘what’s it looking for’ we’re trying to get inside its mind.

“They are very simple; if it’s not food then it’s a girlfriend or boyfriend they’re looking for,” said Kenny.

What to do?

“Enjoy witnessing something you don’t always get to see.

“Contact your local wildlife group, like WIRES, to let them know that the reptile is in a heavily trafficked area.

“Stand back, watch, see what it’s doing…if someone is throwing a stick at it or poking it, tell them not to.

“The carpet python is a relatively harmless animal; they ambush predators, so they lay in wait for their food and they constrict their prey.

“They are not going to try and take on a human to eat them.

“The only time they are going to try to bite a human is if the human is trying to catch them or hurt them.

“Australia does have a lot of venomous snakes and the only time people run into trouble is if they tread on them or try to catch and/or kill them.

“Anyone who has properly applied the recommended first aid, pressure bandage and immobilisation then monitoring in hospital has not died from a snake bite,” said Kenny.

Call an ambulance, do not try to drive yourself, immobilisation is critical.

Carpet pythons are semi territorial, they know where to get their food and find their girlfriends or boyfriends and where to get their water.

There’s a lot of them around so if you move one out of a territory, it creates the opportunity for another one to move in.

WIRES on the Coffs Coast is always looking for new volunteers; check out


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