Snakes out and about

Snakes out and about

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Bradley Holland aka Ranger Red with his non-venomous snakes. He is urging people to be cautious of snakes this summer but not fearful. Photograph – Matt Devlin.

With winter over and snakes coming out of hibernation, Maddington based wildlife expert Bradley Holland aka Ranger Red is warning people to be cautious but not fearful.

The City of Canning has been home to a number of snake sightings over the past few weeks, including two dogs being killed by Tiger snakes at Bannister Creek near Riverton in August.

Mr Holland said the most commonly sighted venomous snakes in the suburbs were the Tiger snake and the Dugite.

“Around our area it is more dugites but around our wet areas like the Canning River and Champion Lakes that’s the kind of area where there’s a lot of Tiger snakes,” he said.

“I’ve noticed a lot of naturalist groups are already reporting on their bush walks that they’re finding tiger snakes out.

“In the hills you also come across the Death Adder occasionally.”

Mr Holland said the best way to prevent snakes entering front or backyards, was to keep gardens tidy.

“The most important thing for people that have a larger yard is that they tidy their yards up, mow the grass, prune bushes back, get rid of any junk,” he said.

He said in the event of a snake bite the best thing to do is to stay calm.

“A lot of people ask me should they have antivenin on hand, no you shouldn’t because antivenin can only and should only be administered by medical experts,” he said.

“There are quite a few people who have allergies to antivenin.

“You want to have something like a stretch bandage, the basic first aid is obviously immobilise the area where you’ve been bitten and apply the pressure bandage to that area.

“Keep your movement to a minimum because you don’t want to cause your heart to pump the venom through your body.

“The big no go is the old bite and suck out, I know that sounds funny but there’s still people who think that’s the way you’re meant to treat it.”

He said most snakes would avoid humans if left alone

“Like Ranger Red says if you see a snake you say g’day and walk the other way,” he said.

A City of Canning spokesman said if snakes are spotted in public spaces, the community should call 1300 422 664 for removal or if its on private property they can call the Wildcare helpline on 9474 9055.

Residents can also request the installation of a snake sign to make the community more aware of the risk if they believe snakes are becoming more prevalent in the area.