Snake season will come early in Australia due to warmer than usual temperatures, Reptile Park expert warns
- Australians warned of the start of snake season
- Snakes come out earlier due to warmer weather
- People urged to protect themselves
Experts have issued an urgent warning to Australians as snake season arrives earlier this year due to higher mid-year temperatures across the country.
The warning came as poisonous snakes were spotted in parts of New South Wales, Queensland and South Australia, with snake catchers inundated with calls from residents.
As summer approaches, authorities have urged Australians to watch out for snakes and take steps to protect themselves.
Experts have issued an urgent warning to Australians as snake season arrives earlier this year due to higher mid-year temperatures across the country
Billy Collett, operations manager at the Australian Reptile Park, said Australia is set for a long snake season due to the early onset of warmer conditions.
He said more snakes will be sighted than usual when the reptiles start breeding.
“We’re going to see some juveniles earlier this season,” he said.
“We came out of two incredibly wet years where…snakes weren’t breeding as much.”
“This season we should see a lot of babies.”
People heading for bush walks or passing through parks surrounded by dense bush have been urged to carry a first aid kit.
Mr Collett said anyone bitten by a snake could die within 20 minutes, depending on how venomous the snakebite was.
“If someone leaves a bite of a highly venomous (snake) species (without) any first aid, any treatment, they can be seriously ill in about an hour… even faster,” he said.
Snakebites can damage a person’s blood cells, causing clots and blood loss.
Snake catchers have been inundated with calls from residents who have spotted snakes in and around their homes as reptiles emerge from hibernation earlier this year due to warmer temperatures
Mr Collett said people should keep their homes and outdoor spaces clean and free of clutter, to keep snakes away from their properties.
“They (would) like to keep (their) yards tidy…the mowed lawns…the piled up trash, the piles of wood…put them out of the way,” he said.
“Anything that attracts snakes to hang around and camp, they can get rid of or minimize.”
He also urged people to pack their first aid kits so they are ready to go.
“Get deep into your snakebite first aid…because it’s really important,” he said.
“If a snake shows up in your home or workplace…just call the local snake catcher, don’t do much with it.”
“Don’t let anyone near (and) keep pets away.”
Snakes are less active during the winter and are rarely spotted when they enter a state of hibernation.
The reptiles aren’t usually spotted until September, but the warmer conditions have seen them emerge earlier than usual.
Australia had a warmer than average winter, according to figures from the Bureau of Meteorology.
People were told to protect their homes from snakes by mowing long patches of grass and avoiding piling logs and firewood in the yard or outdoors.
In July 2023, temperatures increased by 1.2°C on a monthly average.
Warmer weather is also affecting snake populations in other countries.
In the UK, the RSPCA has been inundated with calls that snakes have escaped their enclosures during the region’s record heat wave which has seen temperatures soar.