A coastal carpet python.
A coastal carpet python. Jacklyn Wagner

Don't get snaky, get out

THOUGH people are allowed to kill a snake if they are immediately at risk of being bitten, the National Parks and Wildlife Service says it's much easier, and vastly safer, to avoid conflict altogether.

NPWS spokesman Lawrence Orel said about 90% of snake bites occurred when the victim was aggressively engaged with the snake.

He said he could see no problem with Chris Pugh's actions outlined on today's front page, but warned unjustified killing of any native species was a crime with stiff penalties.

Below are some interesting facts about snakes provided by Mr Orel.

 

Snakes are less active through winter. In spring, they are more active looking for prey such as mice, frogs and small lizards and to find a mate. This is also a time when people are more active outdoors, increasing the chance of encounters.

 

If you come across a snake, stop. Wait to see what the snake will do - most often it will move away. If it doesn't you can retreat by retracing your steps calmly to allow it space to escape.

 

Keep lawns trimmed, including under fence lines, and remove items that could offer a snake shelter as they are shy creatures that will keep moving if they feel exposed.

 

Secure food for pets including bird seed as this can attract rats and mice or other snake prey which in turn attracts snakes.

 

Treat all snakes as venomous and never try to catch or kill a snake as this is when the vast majority of bites occur.

 

For medical emergencies involving snakes call 000. Keep the patient calm. And apply a pressure immobilisation bandage. Wait for assistance to arrive.

 

Snakes play an important role in native ecosystems by controlling rodents and other animals.

 

If you find a snake in your home or garden, and would like it removed, contact your local NPWS office who can provide you with details of local reptile handlers.



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