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Snake bites on the rise

With the weather warming up we’re seeing an increase in snake numbers at homes and across Perth. Courtesy: 9News

With the weather warming up we’re seeing an increase in snake numbers at homes and across the city, and today it didn’t take long to spot one of the world’s deadliest not far from Perth’s CBD.

Along with snake catcher Marcus Cosentino, we set out to find a Tiger Snake along the popular Herdsman Lake.

Within minutes, one slithered out of the bush along the walking track – Marcus carefully catching it as he told us about the species.

Tiger snakes are the sixth most venomous land snake in the world. Snake bites across WA are up 60 per cent. More than 160 people were bitten in the last 12 months to July.

Snake catchers and emergency services alike are encouraging us to be aware and prepared.

The advice if you spot a snake in the wild is give it space, don’t try to interact with it and it will leave you alone.

“They’ll just keep to themselves, give them a minute to move on and they’ll slither away into the grass if you’re on a walking track,” Marcus told 9News.

He also said if you’re walking a dog in bushy tracks or wetlands it’s safer to keep them on a leash.

It’s also a good time of year to prepare your home.

“The best thing to do is just try and seal up any gaps and cracks in fence lines and walls and that’s going to exclude the snakes. Try and clear up any rubbish and low-lying vegetation in the yard so they can easily be spotted. Contact a professional snake catcher to get them removed,” Marcus told 9News.

There are two main species in Perth – Dugites and Tigers.

They’re both extremely venomous, and with spring in the air, easy to come across.

At the weekend a Dugite bit James Bush as he was rock climbing in Bedfordale, sparking a major rescue operation. He luckily escaped with just a minor bite.

Today St John’s Ambulance encouraged people to download their First Responders app.

Nadine Mcloughlin from St John’s Ambulance said: “it gives you your co-ordinates at least down to an eight-metre radius so it means that first responders can get to you quicker, it also gives you key tips, so if you don’t know how to manage a snake bite, it will talk you through it.”

She says in the last five years there’s been an increase in calls to 000 regarding snake bites.
Her advice if you get bitten?

“Immediately lay flat, we need you not to move and stay still, and manage the bite site itself so wrap it in a bandage and call 000 immediately.”