Wildlife carer Julie Curtis pictured with Sampson the carpet python. Jacklyn Wagner
Wildlife carer Julie Curtis pictured with Sampson the carpet python. Jacklyn Wagner

Caring about snakes

JULIE Curtis has dedicated 14 years of her life to dealing with what many people would find threatening.

The Northern Rivers Wildlife Carers (NRWC) volunteer has a soft spot for snakes, catching and caring for the feared reptiles. And at this time of the year she is extremely busy.

Snake season, along with long-running bad weather, has particularly intensified these slippery creatures’ activity.

“This time of year snakes are active and looking for food before they go into hibernation,” Ms Curtis said.

“Snakes have always eaten frogs and the recent rainy weather has provided more for snakes to eat.

“People provide food sources for snakes by keeping chicken pens that attract rats and mice that in turn attracts snakes.”

The inevitable development of local areas also plays a role in the presence of snakes.

“Bushy areas like those that surround Lismore are home to many snakes and the more people continue to build in these areas the more snakes they will encounter,” Ms Curtis said.

“People are encouraged not to have piles of rubbish or any materials on their property where snakes can hide.”

Eight people have been the victim of snake bites during the past week in NSW alone, including an eight-year-old boy from Ellangowan who was rushed to Lismore Base Hospital.

Others who have not been bitten have been inundating local wildlife organisations with snake rescue calls.

People who encounter snakes in their houses are urged to contain the snake in one area and keep pets and children well away.

“Ninety-nine per cent of the time snakes go on their way given the chance,” Ms Curtis said. “People should close all doors, put a towel under the door so the snake can’t escape and wait for the snake catcher to come.”

Residents can call a snake catcher at NRWC on 6628 1866.



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