By Rhiannon Lane-Lissiman
As the warmer weather approaches, West Australians are urged to be on the lookout for snakes, even in their own backyards.
In a single 15 hour period this week, two men were bitten by venomous snakes and are now being treated in Perth hospitals.
Glen Gaikhorst of the Armadale Reptile and Wildlife Centre said in the summer periods snakes will be out in search of food.
“It’s at this time of the year that people, because of their increased activity as well, are going to find them perhaps in their backyards or maybe on walk trails,” said Mr Gaikhorst.
“Australia does have the largest of venomous snakes of any country in the world,” he said.
Although the most commonly seen snakes are the dugite, southern death adder and western tiger snake, Mr Gaikhorst said it’s hard to tell which snakes are dangerous.
“Unfortunately with the variety of species that we have in Australia … we’ve got a massive chance of misidentifying,” he said.
Mr Gaikhorst says the best way to identify a venomous snake is to look at the marking on its underside.
While snake bites are common during summer periods, he said that most snakes avoid biting range.
“In terms of avoiding potentially negative conflict the best thing to do … once the snake has been sighted give it an opportunity to make its escape.”
Mr Gaikhorst said they have reach out programs designed for students from primary to tertiary studies as well as training courses for people to get professionally accredited to do venomous snake catch and releases.
The Armadale centre also does catch and release which allows them to remove snakes from homes and relocate them.
Mr Gaikhorst believes a greater understanding and education about snakes increases people’s peace of mind.