What to do if you see a snake

What to do if you see a snake

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Jon Anderson with Toby the southwest carpet python and Deb Taylor with Lizzy the woma python. Photograph - Richard Polden.

A recent snakebite incident in Bedfordale, which resulted in a man being taken by the rescue helicopter to hospital should act as a stern reminder that snakes are already out and about, especially in this unusually warm spring weather. 

Tiger snakes, dugites, southwest carpet pythons and death adders are known to frequent areas of bushland, reserves and even around built-up housing estates that may have a water source nearby. 

Jon Anderson and Deb Taylor, from Camillo Reptile Removal, volunteer their time to relocate reptiles of all shapes and sizes from the Armadale region. 

If for any reason they can’t attend a call out, the pair encouraged members of the community to contact other volunteer relocators such as Gosnells Reptile Removal and Thornlie Reptile Removal who will also assist free of charge. 

Ms Taylor said it is important for residents to keep an eye out for snakes as they were beginning to come out of their natural habitats to enjoy the warmer weather. 

“The best thing people can do if they see a snake and are not too frightened of it is to put a bucket over the top and keep an eye on it until we come and relocate it,” she said.

“You should never try and kill the snake yourself because predominately you would be coming with the shovel over their head and that is a threatening position and they will likely strike.” 

Volunteer reptile relocator Jon Anderson tries to get Toby the southwest carpet python into the bag. Photograph – Richard Polden.

Mr Anderson said another approach, particularly with smaller snakes is to put a wet towel or blanket over the top of it and keep an eye on it until help arrives. 

In the situation where someone is bitten Mr Anderson reiterated the importance of staying calm and very still to ensure the venom doesn’t move through the body quicker. 

“Wrap a bandage around the wound in a bid to totally immobolise the area that you have been bitten,” he said. 

“If you can’t stay still and need to go then just walk very steady and slow to stop your heart pumping to get yourself going. 

“You don’t cut it and suck it out and all these things that they did in cowboy movies in the 1800s that is just ridiculous.” 

If you need assistance in relocating a reptile, call Deb on 0421 328 096 or Jon on 0457 329 427. 

Other volunteers including Justin from Gosnells Reptile Removal can be contacted on 0488 764 881 as well as Tania from Thornlie Reptile Removal on 0422 995 774.