With the weather warming up, snakes are starting to emerge from their winter hibernation to bask in the sun and search for food and a mate.
Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) Senior Wildlife Management Officer, Leila Brook said: “People are starting to see snakes out and about in the Loddon Mallee Region.
“Snake species commonly found in Loddon Mallee include the Eastern Brown Snake (Pseudonaja textilis), the Red-bellied Black Snake (Pseudechis porphyriacus), and the Tiger Snake (Notechis scutatus).
“While these three species are venomous, it is rare for them to bite people. Most snake bites occur when people try to capture or kill a snake.
“Snakes have been known to bite animals, such as dogs, if they feel threatened. If your dog or cat encounters a snake, the best course of action is to remove your pet from the area or tie it up while the snake passes and if you suspect your pet has been bitten take it to a vet immediately.
“Snakes are generally very shy and prefer to keep away from people and often when a snake is found in a backyard it’s because it’s moving through the area to other habitat.
“Snakes are more common around the urban fringe or in rural parts of Victoria, but they can also be found close to cities and towns, particularly around watercourses and parkland.
“Whether you’re exercising outdoors or gardening, please be aware that snakes may be around, and make sure you’re informed about how to react to them if you encounter one,” Ms Brook said.
If you live in an area with snakes, please remember:
- When left alone, snakes present little or no danger to people.
- If you see a snake, keep calm and move yourself and anyone with you (including pets) away from the area.
- Don't attempt to capture or harm snakes. Instead call DELWP on 136 186 for further advice.
- Maintain lawns and clean up around your house, as snakes are attracted to shelter such as piles of rocks and timber, sheets of metal, and building materials.
- Undertake first aid training and 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 and it is illegal to harm or kill them or capture them without authority. Reports of people willfully destroying protected wildlife will be investigated by the Conservation Regulator.
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