SNAKES... What you need to know about the serpents in ESPERANCE!

the important questions

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October is here and spring is slowly beginning to hum along. The month brings wildflowers to broom, birds chirping at dawn and dreaded snakes. They have woken up from their winter-long hibernation and are hungry and active.

Esperance is home to a variety of snakes, both venomous and non-venomous but the ones to be careful of are Dugites and Tiger Snakes.

Dugites are especially common around coastal areas and have been known to be found on bush and beach tracks, even as close to the oceans edge. They are dressed in a variety of colours, from grey, to green to brown and are particularly harmful because of their venomous bite, which could potentially be fatal.

Tiger Snakes prefer fresh water lake areas, feeding on frogs and the like in the area. Tiger Snakes have a perception of being aggressive, however most attacks occur when the victim is between the reptile and a body of water where they most likely have built their nest and where their young may be. As the name suggest, these snakes have yellow striped markings against black or dark grey scales.

You may be more likely to baulk at the sight of a larger snake, but it’s the baby snakes that you must be more careful of, and not because the mother will be nearby. The younger, less experienced snakes are often more fearful of unknown creatures like humans, and are therefore more likely to attack if they feel to be under threat. Without the age of their years they also lack venom control, so may have a more potent bite with more harmful poison. Older, larger snakes will only use what is necessary to intoxicate and then consume their prey.

The Sean for Breakfast show was lucky enough to feature Dr. Sam, a vet and snake expert from Yanchep, who was able to answer all your pertinent serpent questions! Listen to the conversation at the link below, or keep reading on for a couple of their more commonly asked snake queries…

How can you deter snakes from entering your property?

Not really, the best measures to keep snakes from impregnating your house or backyard is keeping tidy so there are no possible places for a slithery one to hide or call their new home. Bushes and plants need to be kept under control, weeds and grass need to be well kept, and ensure you don’t have snake food, mice and other rodents, scurrying around the premises.

What do you do if you see a snake?

This one is simple, leave the earlier and call a certified snake remover. Your local vet or smart device should be able to give you some contact details.

What should you do if you are bitten by a snake?

Call 000 immediately and request an ambulance. Keeping calm is critical. A low heart rate will decrease blood flow and hinder the toxin moving up through the blood stream towards your heart. Use an item of clothing and tightly wrap around your limb or body above the joint to, again, delay the toxin moving through the blood stream, i.e. if you are bitten on the calf muscle or lower leg, wrap just above the knee.

What happens if you see a snake and you have pets?

Remove your feline or canine from the area. Dogs and cats are naturally curious and will sniff a snake out, perhaps attack it or threaten it involuntarily. Try take them as far away from danger as possible.

What happens if my pet is bitten by a snake?

First of all, keep calm. Symptoms of snake bites include grogginess (appearing drunk), staggering and frothing at the mouth. Rush your animal to the veterinarian as quickly as possible calling in advance to give forewarning and a chance to prepare. Keeping the dog conscious and breathing is important in this situation. 90% of pets survive snake bites, so long as they are presented to the vet and are still breathing.

11 October 2018

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