Although it may be officially the ‘Year of the Dog’, the start of 2018 has been notable for a deluge of reports about snakes in the media. Further examples include:

In early January Melbourne snake catcher Jarrod Bingham from Reptile Relocations captured a monster Eastern Brown Snake in suburban Rockbank after a couple of false starts.

“It was pushing six-foot,” he said. “It’s probably the biggest snake I’ve caught in my career.”

A passer-by first alerted Mr Bingham to the presence of the snake, but by the time he arrived it proved impossible to locate. About half an hour later residents called him when the brown snake made an appearance in their backyard, but once again it could not be found. Finally, it was discovered to be hiding in the small box covering a water meter.

Mr Bingham said this was a telling reminder for people to keep a watch on snakes around their property until a snake catcher is able to respond.

“You need to be keeping an eye on it because if you’re not then it’s like looking for a needle in a haystack,” he said.

The full story and video can be found here.

Snakes have a habit of turning up in some surprising places. A couple of weeks later, a firefighter at Rutherford Fire Station in the NSW Hunter Region found a Red-bellied Black Snake curled up in his helmet!

For more click here.

Such incidents may be mildly amusing, however, when numbers of snakes are found in an area frequented by young children who don’t necessarily understand the danger, no one treats it as a joke. Within a matter of weeks, at least 20 snakes were sighted in the children’s playground at Warriewood Valley Rocket Park, in Sydney’s Northern Beaches area, and parents are demanding action.

Local mother Stacey Mitchell says she won’t take her children to the park for fear of the snakes. “I panicked when I saw them and then plenty of other mothers started seeing them too.”

Ms Mitchell blames recent development for the concentration of snakes, saying this has left little room for wildlife. “It’s also been very dry and I guess the snakes are looking for water.”

She would like council to put up warning signs in the area.

For full deatils click here.

Excessively dry weather may also be responsible when periodically there is a report of a snake with its head caught in a drink can. The animal may be searching for a drink – or it may simply be a victim of its inquisitive nature. In mid-February, a Tiger Snake was found with its head stuck in a beer can in Wyndham Vale, a suburb west of Melbourne.

Passers-by were attempting to assist the snake, when Stewart Gatt from Stewy the Snake Catcher came to its rescue. In a ‘delicate operation’ Mr Gatt cut the snake out with the aid of a pair of pliers.

“If you come across a snake in a similar situation, the best thing to do is to call a snake catcher,” he said.

Further details here.

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