First aid if bitten by a venomous snake:


Do not wash the wound site.
Do not cut the wound.
Place an elastic bandage over the wound site and bandage as far down the limb as possible, then back up the limb as far as possible.
Keep the patient as quiet as possible. This can be hard, but remember stress and fear will be the most visible signs in most cases of snake bite and should be treated accordingly.


Call an ambulance and get to a hospital immediately.

 

Do not ask the patient to walk to a vehicle for transport, bring the vehicle to the patient, the less movement on the part of the patient, the better.
Identification of the snake is not necessary, so do not attempt to capture or kill the snake to take to the hospital, most hospital staff cannot positively identify a snake.
The Commonwealth Serum Laboratories have produced a snakebite detection kit, which has been issued to all major hospitals through out Australia. This kit enables the hospital staff to safely take a swab from the wound site and after testing they are able to tell which anti-venom is the correct one to use. If the test is inconclusive, then a polyvalent serum may be administered.
I feel very sorry for our venomous snakes, most of us are frightened of them, and in many cases the snake suffer due to our fear. They are not interested in attacking us; they will usually try as hard as they can to get away.
If you find a snake inside, if possible leave it an avenue of escape, close the room of if you can, and leave doors and windows open so the snake can leave when it no longer feels threatened.

When walking outside at night or in the bush wear suitable footwear.

Reference: Graeme Gow’s complete guide to Australian Snakes.
WIRES Rescue and Immediate Care manual.

Spring brings out our reptile friends, after having spent the winter months in semi hibernation; they are now out and about looking for a good feed. Snakes, in particular, are very active, so be aware when walking through the bush that even though you may not see them, they are all around us and considering how rarely we actually see a snake, they are pretty good at keeping out of our way. They have no benefit in biting us, except in defence as they cannot eat us, so using up precious venom is not in their best interest. They will only strike if they feel threatened; leaving them alone is the best option for not only the snake, but us as well.

We receive many calls to relocate snakes from a multitude of situations, usually due to a fear of them, not just because they actually pose any immediate threat. Why are we so frightened of snakes, does it relate back to the Garden of Eden, or is it the misconception that they will attack and bite if we get anywhere near them, I don’t really know. But what you may like to consider is that the snake that lives around or near your premises, be it in the paddock or garage, knows you, as it has lived within its territory since it was born and in some cases that can be up to 50-60 years, most snakes have a very long life. It knows when you hang out the washing, it knows when you go to sleep and the coast is clear, it knows to stay out of your way. The one time you spot it sunning itself, or hunting for food, it will be as surprised as you, but will not strike as long as you leave it alone, and give it a chance to get away from you. You have simply noticed it for the first time, whereas it may have seen you thousands of times before.

If a resident snake is taken away from your property, it is only a matter time before another snake decides to move into its territory; the problem now is that the new arrival does NOT know your movements, so when you place your foot blindly down next to its head or hands into shrubbery, it feels threatened and reacts accordingly.

The simple fact is that we live in snake territory, and can live harmoniously, as long as we understand and give the native animals the respect and space they deserve. If you find a snake inside, leave it an avenue of escape if possible, close the room off if you can, leaving doors and windows open, to allow the snake to makes it exit when it no longer feels threatened.

Most people are bitten by snakes when trying to kill them, or wandering about outside at night in bare feet, what for, well I leave that to your imagination. Wear suitable footwear even if just ducking out for a short stroll, as snakes do not have ears but sense vibrations through the ground, and being the hunter/gatherer type that we are, our bare feet are designed for silent and non vibration movement.

We would like to remind everyone how do deal with a snakebite, just in case, and would like to emphasise the importance of ensuring your children are also aware of what to do.

 

 

 

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©Wildlife Mountain 2000 - 2017

 

We would also like to acknowledge the amazing support and help we have had from the Lismore Vet Clinic who have been an invaluable support to both us and the native wildlife of this region.


All native birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles are proteced under the Wildlife Act 1975, they may not be captured or harmed in any way without an authority issued under the Wildlife Act.