Snake warning for Australians with sightings are on the rise

  • Australians are being warned that snake sightings are on the rise
  • In Central Coast, NSW a snake catcher said he’s averaging six call outs a day
  • Last week a western Sydney man was hospitalised with a brown snake bite

A massive spike in snake sightings has triggered an urgent warning for millions of Aussies and their pets, as the slithery reptiles venture into backyards on the hunt for food.

Rising temperatures on Australia’s east coast has resulted in snakes getting out and about as they look for a mate and a meal, now the winter cold is over. 

While snakes don’t hibernate in the colder months they go into a state known as ‘brumation’ where they will sleep for long periods of time meaning they are less active and therefore hunt less. 

In New South Wales especially snake sightings are on the rise as last week a western Sydney man was rushed to hospital after being bitten by a brown snake. 

The man in his 30s was bitten at Lizard Log nature playground in Abbotsbury, in Western Sydney Parklands, a popular spot for families. 

Australians are being warned to be extra careful with their movements and that of their pets as snake sightings spike as temperatures begin to rise (stock image)

Australians are being warned to be extra careful with their movements and that of their pets as snake sightings spike as temperatures begin to rise (stock image)

Central Coast snake catcher Matt Stopford said he is receiving around six calls a day to remove snakes from homes or backyards

Central Coast snake catcher Matt Stopford said he is receiving around six calls a day to remove snakes from homes or backyards

Meanwhile on the Central Coast, snake catcher Matt Stopford told 9News he is receiving around six calls a day to remove snakes from homes or backyards. 

‘At the moment they’re just coming out of torpor, they’re starting to warm up and they’re getting on the move and starting to look for mates and food,’ Mr Stopford said.

He warned anyone who saw a snake to keep a distance and to not catch or kill them and instead call a snake catcher.

‘Catching or killing a snake in NSW without a license can incur a fine of up to $10,000 and or ten years in prison,’ Mr Stopford said.

He warned anyone who saw a snake to keep a distance and to not catch or kill them and instead call a snake catcher

He warned anyone who saw a snake to keep a distance and to not catch or kill them and instead call a snake catcher

Natasha Evans from the Animal Referral Hospital in Gosford also warned pet owners to be vigilant after a cattle dog required anti-venom and a transfusion after being bitten by a red belly black snake.

‘Often they have some signs immediately after they’re bitten, they might vomit, they might collapse, sometimes they’ll seem like they’re not quite right,’ Natasha Evans said.

Sydney vet Dr Tim Montgomer took to Facebook to also tell owners to be vigilant.

‘Dogs are curious and they find snakes very exciting. There are no fool proof ways to protect your dogs from snake bites,’ he said.

‘If you find your dog has been outside and it comes in acting strangely and if you live in area where there could be snakes, pay a visit to your local vet just to be safe.’

He said while symptoms of snakes bites can vary depending on the species some signs to look out for include wobbling, trembling, vomiting, agitation, limping and visible wounds.

WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE BITTEN BY A VENOMOUS SNAKE

The Australian Resuscitation Council recommends the ‘pressure-immobilisation’ technique:

– Apply a broad pressure bandage firmly and tightly

– To reduce blood flow and delay venom spread apply a further bandage starting at the fingers and toes and covering as much of the limb as possible

– Splint the limb including joints on either side of the bite, to restrict limb movement

– Keep the bite victim and the limb completely at rest

– Bring transport to the victim if possible

– Transport the victim to medical care, preferably by ambulance

– If alone, the victim should apply the pressure immobilisation bandage as completely as possible over the bite site and affected limb and keep immobile until assistance arrives

Do NOT wash the area of the bite or try to suck out the venom:

It is extremely important to retain traces of venom for use with venom identification kits.

Do NOT incise or cut the bite, or apply a high tourniquet:

Cutting or incising the bite won’t help. High tourniquets are ineffective and can be fatal if released.

 Source: The Australian Resuscitation Council

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