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Byron Shire
March 6, 2021

Snakes are on the move…

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This python took a bike ride from Ocean Shores to Ballina. Photo supplied.

The days are warming up and WIRES is warning people that snakes are starting become more active.

‘Like other reptiles, snakes are ectothermic (cold-blooded), relying on their environment for thermoregulation. In winter we do not see them as often, although contrary to widely-held belief, they don’t “hibernate”. Unlike some warm blooded animals who enter a deep sleep and do not move at all during winter, snakes enter a state known as “brumation”, and on warmer winter days will move around and find water,’ said a WIRES spokesperson.

Travelling snake

In fact on Sunday there was one python who took a motor bike trip from Ocean Shores to Ballina after the rider, Stu, had been to visit friends.

‘Given that the bike is usually parked in a secure snake proof garage he quickly realised that it must have climbed aboard while he was parked next to parkland at Ocean Shores,’ said WIRES spokesperson.

With a WIRES snake handler at the ready, Stu carefully removed the fuel tank to reveal the two meter python happily perched on the frame.

‘Bikie the snake was taken into care and following some hydration therapy and removal of a few ticks was given a lift, this time by car, back to Ocean Shores, where Bikie was released close to its home.

‘Stu was as relieved as Bikie to end this adventure, and was most appreciative that Bikie travelled all the way from Ocean Shores to Ballina without deciding to make his presence known while on the highway,’ the WIRES spokesperson said.

Snakes are starting become more active as it warms up. Photo supplied.

Snakes keep out of your way

Many people pass close to snakes every day but because snakes are so afraid of us and prefer to stay out of our way, we never notice. Snakes know the food, water and shelter in their territory and learn the daily movements of the resident humans. In reality, it is only occasionally that snakes and humans come into conflict – generally because the snake cannot make a quick exit. During spring snakes can become more defensive and territorial so it is a good idea to be a little more wary.

Snakes are protected by law and play an important role in our ecosystem. A resident carpet python will easily keep rodents in check and deter venomous snake species from moving in! Relocating snakes out of their territory puts them at risk of not finding water and food, and they may die trying to get back home. A “stranger” snake that does not know your movements may move into that territory and increase the risk to you.

Snakes are starting become more active as it warms up. Photo supplied.

Helping wildlife

If you are keen to make a difference for the wildlife in our area, consider joining WIRES. Now is a great time to join since their next workshop will be held in Lismore on October 7 and there is time beforehand to complete the online part of the course. For more information about how you can join and contribute call 66281898.

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