Look Out: Venomous Snakes On The Move Early Thanks To Tassie's Unusually Warm Winter

Snake handler shares their tips

Article heading image for Look Out: Venomous Snakes On The Move Early Thanks To Tassie's Unusually Warm Winter

A man holds a Tasmania Tiger Snake. Source: ABC Northern Tasmania Facebook

Reptile Rescue Incorporated Handler Justin Kneebone says he has been receiving call-outs since July - an unusual trend since snakes don’t normally become active until mid-October. 

“I think it’s because we don’t really have that seasonal winter anymore, we’ve had the warmest winter we’ve had in many years so they’re getting out and about. At the moment they will come out on sunny days when there’s a bit of warmth out,” says Mr Kneebone.

Mr Kneebone says snakes are likely looking for food after emerging from their winter torpor. 

“They haven’t eaten in five months so they go searching for food. There’s usually mice and rats and baby birds they can eat."

Tasmania is home to three venomous snakes: the Copperhead, the White-Lipped Snake and the Tiger Snake. 

January last year, a 79-year-old man died after being bitten by a Tiger Snake. It was the first snakebite death in Tasmania in 43 years!

Tiger Snakes are the most common kind for people to come across down south and can be common along bushwalking tracks. 


Justina Kneebone shares his top tips to prevent snake encounters

When Bushwalking...

  • Be vigilant. Watch where you’re going and take precautions.
  • Carry compression bandages with you: Wrapping compression bandages on snake bites will restrict the flow of venom and allow you time to get to the hospital for better help. 

Property Owners...

  • If you live in an area known for snakes, be a little weary for yourself and your pets whilst in the garden. Keep your garden neat and tidy. 
  • If you have chooks and birds, try not to get the seeds around as they will attract mice and rats which will, in turn, attract snakes. 
  • If you see a snake, keep an eye on it from a safe distance, DO NOT try to approach it or pick it up. 

Reptile rescue can be contacted for snake call-outs 24/7 on 0499 116 690.

In the event of a snake bite, apply a pressure immobilisation bandage and immediately call 000. 

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Triple M Newsroom

8 September 2021

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