Lifestyle

Snake bites on the rise around the Rockhampton region

SLITHERING SURPRISE: Snake catcher Ben Hansen with a spotted python.
SLITHERING SURPRISE: Snake catcher Ben Hansen with a spotted python. ALLAN REINIKKA ROKASNAKE

FOR Ben Hansen, a day can mean any number of callouts - with pythons, eastern browns, red belly blacks and some tree snakes on the collection list.

Ben is a snake relocator with CQ Snake Catchers, and he said at the moment most callouts were to relocate pythons being found around the region.

"At the moment we are catching quite a few spotted pythons, but there has been a lot of pythons - spotted, carpets and green tree," he said.

"There is also some eastern browns, red belly blacks and some brown tree snakes.

"In saying that, there are about another 30 different snake varieties in the area."

Ben said he was not overly surprised to hear of recent bites - with summer and school holidays not a good mix.

"I think more people are getting bitten because they are on holidays, they are out running around and because it is so hot they are running around barefoot," he said.

If you see a snake, make sure you watch where it goes and call a snake catcher as quickly as possible.

"The other advice is don't rely on colour. People go 'oh it's brown, so it's an eastern brown' - but they can be grey, a reddish colour, almost black," he said.

"By trying to catch or kill a snake, you automatically increase your chances of being bitten by 80%."

A Queensland Ambulance Service spokesman said in the past few years, snake bites in Central Queensland had varied.

In 2013, 88 people were bitten, in 2014 only 48 were and last year 61 were bitten.

Basic tips for anyone who has been bitten by a snake include avoiding washing the wound, bandaging it immediately and not allowing the victim to move around.

Recently, snake bite victims in the region include a 10-year-old Woodbury boy who was taken to hospital with a suspected bite.

Snake bite presentations 01/09/15 to 11/01/16

Rockhampton Hospital: 45 presentations; 2 with envenomation; 43 with no envenomation

Emerald Hospital: 10 presentations; 3 with envenomation; 7 with no envenomation

Capricorn Coast Hospital: 10 presentations; 2 with envenomation; 8 with no envenomation

Topics:  rockhampton snake bites



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