Council is urging the community to remain vigilant at this time of year as snakes emerge from their winter hibernation.
Director of Infrastructure, Leah Johnston said that whilst it is normal for snakes to become more active this time of year, Council is receiving a high number or reports regarding sightings at Barry Steggall Park – Tower Hill.
“Snakes are naturally present in our environment and there have been a number of sightings recently at Barry Steggall Park in Tower Hill. We are currently investigating ways to make this a safer place for families to visit.
“We recently closed the Tower Hill Playground, and we will continue to do this in areas that are deemed unsafe. The length of the closure remains uncertain as reopening relies on an assessment and advice that there are no obvious snakes in the immediate vicinity.
Ms Johnston expressed that Council was taking the matter seriously, however noted that snakes are a natural part of our environment and we could never eliminate the risk completely.
“We are considering multiple strategies to enhance the park’s safety, such as adding more signs and minimising snake hiding spots. However, it is crucial for the community to stay alert and vigilant, particularly during this time of year,” Ms Johnston said.
Environmental and Sustainability Officer, Nicholas Mudge emphasised that when left alone, snakes present little or no danger to people.
“Snakes prefer to keep away from people. They have been known to bite animals, such as dogs and cats, if they feel threatened. If you see a snake the best practice is to calmly leave the area with your pets and children.
“Snakes are protected under the Wildlife Act 1975 and it is an offence to harm or harass them. We certainly understand the danger and fear associated with snakes but the advice from the Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action (DEECA) is that whilst they are highly venomous and dangerous, they are an important part of the natural environment and are native to our area.” Mr Mudge said.
Mr Mudge stressed that snakes are naturally present in our environment.
“When you are outdoors enjoying the warmer weather, please be aware the snakes may be around, and make sure you are informed on how to react if you encounter one.
“Keeping our yards tidy and maintaining our lawns is important as snakes are attracted to sheltered areas such as piles of rocks, timber, sheets of metal, and building materials.
“By ensuring that these potential hiding spots are kept clear and organized, we can help reduce the likelihood of encountering snakes in our surroundings, Mr Mudge added”.
For further advice please contact the Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action on 136 186 or visit https://www.wildlife.vic.gov.au/our-wildlife/reptiles
- Keep calm and try to move yourself, anyone with you and your pets away from the snake.
- Never touch or attempt to capture or hurt a snake, contact your nearest licensed snake catcher for safe removal.
- Clean up around the house and make sure your lawns are tidy and try to avoid large piles of rubbish on your property for snakes to shelter in.
- Be first aid prepared and if someone is bitten call 000 immediately.