News

Snakes on the move in north-east Victoria

By David Rak

As the weather warms, snakes are becoming more active and a lot more visible.

The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) environmental compliance regional manager Nathan Stamkos said snakes were emerging from their winter hibernation to bask in the sun and to search for food and a mate.

“The recent sunny weather also means people are spending more time outdoors and it is quite likely they will encounter a snake,” he said.

“Eastern brown snakes are the most common in north-east Victoria with the occasional tiger snake or red bellied black snake, which are usually found around wetlands, creeks and rivers.

“These three species are highly venomous, but it is rare for them to bite people. Most snake bites are received by people who try to capture or kill a snake.

“Snakes can be 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.

“Being aware snakes may be around, and being informed about how to react to them are the most important aspects of managing snakes.

“Snakes play an important role in our ecosystem and are protected under the Wildlife Act 1975. It is illegal to capture, harm, or kill them. Reports of people willfully destroying protected wildlife will be investigated accordingly.”If you live in an area with snakes, remember: