Stay clear of snakes

Stay clear of snakes

1923
Kelmscott resident Keith Mann with the snakeskin he found at his son’s Byford home. Photograph — Matt Devlin
Kelmscott resident Keith Mann with the snakeskin he found at his son’s Byford home. Photograph — Matt Devlin
Seville Grove resident Neil McLagan spotted at this snake at Champion Lakes on Tuesday.     Photograph — Neil McLagan.
Seville Grove resident Neil McLagan spotted at this snake at Champion Lakes on Tuesday. Photograph — Neil McLagan.

With the weather warming up and reptiles coming out of hibernation residents were being warned to give snakes a wide berth and snake-proof their properties to avoid injury.

Snake sightings have been made across the Armadale, Serpentine Jarrahdale and Gosnells areas over the past few weeks including dugites.

Kelmscott resident Keith Mann found a two-metre snakeskin he believed was from a dugite at his son’s Byford home.

Mr Mann also spotted what looked to be a dugite under the Gilwell Avenue bridge in Kelmscott and on Tuesday Seville Grove resident Neil McLagan spotted a snake while cycling at Champion Lakes.

Department of Parks and Wildlife officer Matt Swan said the

Mr Mann with the snakeskin he found at his son’s Byford home. Photograph — Matt Devlin
Mr Mann with the snakeskin he found at his son’s Byford home. Photograph — Matt Devlin.

amount of snake sightings was not unusual.

“We’re not experiencing an unusual season,” he said.

“What’s happening over the last 10 to 15 years is people are becoming more aware of these animals but also learning how to report these animals, this is a very normal spring heading into summer.”

Mr Swan said the best way to stay safe was to leave them alone.

“We know statistically you’re more likely to be bitten trying to catch or kill it,” he said. “If we see a snake in its natural environment then give it a wide berth.

“They have tiny little teeth in a tiny little mouth, they can’t eat you and they don’t carry knuckle dusters under their skin so really they’re defensive.

“They have in some way perceived that person as being a threat and so their last resort is to bite that person. If people stay well clear then their chances of being bitten are nil.”

He said wearing sturdy shoes could prevent snake bites and he encouraged people to clean up their backyards to remove hiding spots.

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A dugite under the Gilwell Avenue bridge in Kelmscott. Photograph — Hamish Hastie.

“The best way we can be protected in our environment, be that in our backyard or on our walking path is to wear good sturdy shoes and thick socks,” he said.

“People need to clean up their junk, clean up their mess, mow the lawn, keep the grass short. The junk in the shed, get it light, get it airy.”

Mr Swan said anyone who does get bitten should seek medical help immediately.

“There’s none of this oh maybe I got bitten, maybe I didn’t, if you think you’ve been bitten you must go to hospital straight away.”

Anyone who finds a snake in their backyard could call the wildcare hotline in 9474 9055.