Rockhampton snake catcher Ben Hansen.
Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin
Rockhampton snake catcher Ben Hansen. Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin Allan Reinikka ROK120116asnake1

WARNING: 'If you've got a garden, you're going to have a snake'

IF YOU'VE got a garden, chances are there's a snake lurking in there somewhere.

Although the animals are always active around this time of year, Rockhampton snake catcher Ben Hansen says an increase in sightings may have been a result of the recent heatwaves.

The Morning Bulletin spoke to Mr Hansen after a 26-year-old man was bitten on the leg by a snake, believed to be an eastern brown, at The Caves yesterday.

There have been a number of reported snake bites in the region during recent months, but Mr Hansen says this doesn't mean there has been an increase in snakes in the area.

"There's always heaps around," he says.

"I think a lot of them at the moment are chasing the cool with the heat that's going on and a lot of them are getting into gardens where the water and everything is."

Mr Hansen said snakes, and the animals they hunted, were attracted to places like rubbish piles.

Most of the time, snakes manage to stay out of the way, which is why Mr Hansen believes many people don't realise how prevalent they are in Queensland.

"They're everywhere," he said.

"If you've got an established garden you're going to have a snake."

At the moment, Mr Hansen said he was being called to an average of three removal jobs daily.

"The main ones we're getting called out for are either pythons of a night time or eastern browns during the day," he said.

The trend of eastern browns is worrying, with that species considered the most dangerous in Australia.

"They're extremely toxic, they're quite happy to live in suburbia, they're not really afraid of us, they can be very defensive," Mr Hansen said.

Mr Hansen said it was best to call a professional if a snake was spotted, with people more likely to be bitten while trying to remove the animal themselves.

He said it was important to know basic first aid, as well as covering up when working in the garden.

Limiting garden undergrowth and removing rubbish from yards will also reduce the chance of coming across a surprise backyard guest.

But Mr Hansen said if you live in Queensland, you've got to expect to see a snake at some point.



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