Snake Catcher

Reporter: Graeme Butler

There's something about snakes, something that evokes a primal fear in many people and with good reason, they rank among the deadliest creatures on earth and here in Australia we have some of the most dangerous. "The most famous one's would be the dugite and of course the tiger snake but in most areas if you're out walking about you won't' see them very elusive and they try and avoid people." David Manning from Animal Ark says our fears are largely misplaced as left alone snakes will generally not cause any harm, though they deserve a healthy respect. "It's really simple, you leave a snake alone it won't harm you if a snake is coming towards you you're walking just stand still, stationary objects aren't seen as a threat by a snake, they're very visually aware so any movement will agitate possibly the snake."

David conducts snake handling classes teaching people how to safely remove snakes from buildings and yards and relocate them. "We're getting an increasing demand for it certainly we're limited by the day to teach 8 people, so it's eight people over a full day but at the moment we're doing two or three a week, whereas not long ago it was one a month." and this is what David teaches people to do, there's no second chances here.

"Essentially the dugite in particular does very well near human habitation warehouses, business premises anything where there's a lot of junk left lying around primarily if there's rubbish gives snakes a place to hide and shelter and it also gives shelter for their prey." If you see a snake the best advice is leave it well alone, stand still and let it pass. If someone is bitten, use a pressure bandage, stay still and call for an ambulance. While snakes are out and active right now, David believes next year is the one to watch. "I think it has been a warm spring. There's been a lot of grass that means a lot of seed, which means a lot of mice. I think if we have a good season and it follows into next year then may well be more snakes but they can't suddenly breed in big numbers if this is a good year for mice, next year might be a better year for snake numbers.

Further Details

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