As I’ve been relaxing and soaking up the waves of the festive season, ideas have been flying around my head relating to my next article. Over the past week I have read some crazy comments on social media sites and today’s latest posts have swayed me towards an informative piece about SNAKES…
Yes SNAKES!!! Those slimy, evil, dangerous, deadly and totally ferocious reptiles as many people perceive them to be… In the real world these creatures are more scared of us than we are of them. It saddens me to see and hear the innate fear individuals place in snakes, believe me I am terribly wary of them. Yet correct identification of snakes is key in understanding and learning about why they may appear in our backyard, chook pen or shed. Certainly, how we should deal with them face to face and the calm that should envelop us with the adequate knowledge in hand.
To this day, my dedicated love of marsupials is my carved path in life and my husband’s lies with reptiles. After 16 years of marriage I still refuse to handle snakes or even go near them. When I see a snake the hairs on my arms stand erect, the blood rushes to my feet and I am frozen, yet somewhere deep in my belly I find the strength to shriek for ROBBBBBBBB….. (Domestic deafness certainly doesn’t apply in our relationship). My only pet as a child was my very English corgi and Rob grew up in the wilds of Africa, literally. Catching snakes and reaching milestones went hand in hand for him. My 14 yr old son chose a bearded dragon for his birthday and named him Bruce. My 11 yr old daughter chose a children’s python for hers and named her Sheila. It’s with raw pride and respect I watch my children handle, feed, care for and interact with their pets (all bought and licensed for appropriately). This is a priceless gift we have entrusted our children with.
Over the past few weeks, we’ve had several hungry pythons descend upon our property in search of ‘an easy’ meal. Of course to them my possums are a sitting target and it’s mother nature at work. My dear neighbour has dubbed our home, McPossum slither through. How apt! As luck would have it all our aviaries and cages are snake proof, to my delight of course. However I have learnt to be brave and calm when out with the spotlight at night. I cautiously scan the branches above my head and the trellis on the verandah where the pythons often weave their path and the tropical hibiscus plants. I now have a method to my madness. Rob moves the pythons down to the bottom of the garden, in the false hope they move on to greener pastures and give up on my babies.
Relocating pythons and other snakes, disrupts their breeding habits for one. It also makes them more vulnerable being relocated to unnatural surroundings and that specific area could possibly be “overpopulated” already. Snakes come out in search of food – rats in bales of horse fodder or easy food in our rafters. They react to movement and if left alone, will generally move off on their own accord. Within reason of course, if a licensed snake catcher is called out and discovers a venomous snake – HE WILL SAFELY RELOCATE IT within the vicinity as stipulated by the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection DEHP.
As part of our personal service to the community, Rob offers free snake removal and relocations within our local area. This service is not part of our wildlife volunteer work (separate to the Wilvos org), instead it’s an initiative we have developed on our own and donations are always welcome to cover our running costs. In the new year, we hope to entice more schools with our wildlife education program’s.
Please don’t hesitate to call Rob Bland on 0437 252 636 for identifications, call outs or just a chat about reptiles. Our Facebook page is called, and Wildlife Volunteers. We are licensed with DEHP, hold public liability insurance, valid CPR & First aid certificates and Blue cards.
Respect nature and she will respect you in return.
Misty Bland – 30 December 2014
Wildlife Volunteers Assoc Inc. WILVOS
Tel: 5441 6200