No need to panic if you see snakes

In light of the man who was reportedly bitten by a snake at a cemetery in Werris Creek after he chopped the animal in half (“Snakes alive: Man bitten by red belly – 45 minutes after killing it”,  NDL, January 11, I urge readers to protect themselves and animals by simply leaving snakes – and all wildlife – alone.

Snakes are an essential part of Australia’s ecosystem, and they can be found anywhere from the outback to our backyards. They are on the move this time of year, as warm temperatures coax them from their winter hiding spots, but there is no need to panic or resort to cruelty if you see one.

More than 90 per cent of snakes in Australia are harmless and, if left alone, will usually go away. Simply stand still or walk away. Attempting to kill or catch a snake will only make snakes feel threatened and provoke them to bite.

We can discourage snakes from visiting our properties by clearing away rubbish, keeping gardens tidy, cutting grass short and storing wood and other building materials away from the house to eliminate hiding places, as well as picking up our animal companions’ food bowls when they are finished eating, as they can attract snakes’ prey.

Des Bellamy

PETA Australia, Byron Bay

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