Tourists a snake risk
LOCALS know brown snakes are often found among rocks on beaches but lifeguards are concerned curious tourists are risking a potentially fatal bite by not treating the slithery creatures with the respect they deserve.
After discovering two browns and a carpet snake in front of the Byron Bay Surf Life Saving Club on Main Beach yesterday morning, the Australian Lifeguard issued a warning for the public to take care and keep an eye out when sitting or walking near grass and rocks.
"We are not so much worried about the locals, but tourists are walking up close to them to get photos," said Northern NSW Lifeguard co-ordinator Scott McCartney. "There is nothing unusual about snakes living in the rocks but they are now coming out of hibernation and are mating which makes them hungry and a bit cranky."
Lifeguards erected warning signs around their clubhouse about three days ago and called George the Snakeman when they became concerned about these particular snakes. However every time George arrived the snakes were in hiding - until yesterday morning.
Speaking to The Northern Star yesterday afternoon after he just removed another brown from a different location, George saidByron Shire, and in particular its CBD, had twice as many browns as any other shire in the country.
"We have a unique environment and about three years ago we had an explosion in rodents which is the reason for the explosion in numbers at the moment," he said.
Byron Lifeguard Saul Duran agreed "this year has been particularly busy with snakes".
"They're out on the roam looking for mates," he said. "We've put signs up but people are just parking their prams right next to them."
Mr McCartney urged people who see a snake to tell a lifeguard.
Should anything be done about Byron's snakes?