Spring-Weather Sparks Early Snake Season For Melbourne

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Spring-Weather Sparks Early Snake Season For Melbourne

Better double check that suspicious-looking stick in your garden.

Wildlife experts say unusually warm, sunny winter days have prompted the reptiles to slither out of hibernation earlier than expected.

Senior Scientist from the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) Nick Clemann says Melburnians out for a spring walk or cycle may see a few more around as they emerge in search of sun, food and a mate.

"Snakes are more common in areas around the urban fringe or in rural areas, but they do turn up surprisingly close to cities and towns, especially around watercourses and in parkland," he said.

On the coast Victorians are most likely to see Tiger Snakes and Lowland Copperhead, while the drier areas host Eastern Brown and Red-bellied Black Snakes.

All four are dangerously venomous, but Clemann says it's rare for them to bite people and most injuries occur when people try to kill the reptiles.

SNAKE TIPS:

  • If you see a snake, keep calm and try to move yourself, anyone with you and your pets away from it
  • Never touch or attempt to capture or hurt snakes – instead call DELWP on 136 186 for further advice, or call a licensed snake catcher
  • 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.

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