Slithery alert

By Country News

With the weather warming up, snakes are becoming more active and a lot more visible.

‘‘Snakes are emerging from their winter hibernation to bask in the sun and to search for food and a mate,’’ DELWP environmental compliance regional manager Nathan Stamkos said.

‘‘The recent sunny weather also means people are spending more time outdoors and it is quite likely they will encounter a snake.’’

Mr Stamkos said eastern brown snakes were 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,’’ he said.

‘‘Most snakebites are received by people who try to capture or kill a snake.

‘‘Snakes are 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. If you suspect your pet has been bitten, take it to a vet immediately.’’

If you live in an area with snakes, remember:

■When left alone, snakes present little or no danger to people.

■If you see a snake, keep calm and move yourself and anyone with you (including pets) away from the area.

■Don’t attempt to capture or harm snakes. Instead, phone DELWP on 136186 for further advice, or call a licensed snake catcher.

■Maintain lawns and clean up around your house, as snakes are attracted to shelter such as piles of rocks and timber, sheets of metal, and building materials.

■Undertake first-aid training and ensure your first-aid kit contains several compression bandages, and if someone is bitten, phone 000 immediately.