We posted this article on our Facebook page last year, and it remains as relevant as ever.  While snakes aren’t as active in winter, they do often come out from their shelters (logs, rock crevices, etc.) to soak up the sun on warmer days. Therefore, we thought now would be a good opportunity to remind everyone why snakes deserve our respect and why professional snake handlers do a very important job.

A Case of Mistaken Identity

The thought of encountering a snake makes most people shudder with fear. We tend to think of snakes as vicious killers with only one goal; harm all humans. However, the opposite is true. While there are many venomous snakes, there certainly aren’t many aggressive ones. The major problem with this irrational fear of snakes is that it leads people to do silly things. For example, the fencer who bravely killed a deadly brown snake which turned out to be a Golden Crowned Snake, not venomous to anyone except lizards. And we’ll never forget the time we were called out to deal with a monster six foot Eastern Brown which turned out to be a blue-tongued lizard!

Mistaking the identity of a snake can, of course, lead to a human being harmed. Three years ago, a wildlife volunteer was bitten on the hand by what he thought was a Brown Tree Snake. He then casually drove off with the snake without worrying about the bite or applying first aid. A short while later, he passed out and crashed his car. Why? The snake that bit him was, in fact, a venomous Rough Scaled Snake. Fortunately, both volunteer and snake survived the crash.

Treat Snakes With Respect

What can we conclude from all this? It is easy to mistake the identity of a snake, and the results are not pleasant for either human or snake. Remember, snakes are not as aggressive as people generally believe and they play an important role in our ecosystems. Generally speaking, it is best to leave them alone and keep your distance. If the snake is posing a problem, call in a professional snake catcher. If you are in the Shoalhaven, you can call Snake Aware. We will properly identify the snake and remove it safely and relocated it to an appropriate place.