Snake attack

Increased snake reports has prompted a local wildlife education advocate to teach the community about of safe responses when confronted with the reptiles.

“This time of year is when they start coming out (of hibernation), as the weather warms up they become more active and seeking food and prey,” Venomwise Educational Wildlife Encounters owner Jeff Mathieson said.

“They are only aggressive when they are disturbed or feel cornered, and it is as a defence.”

Mr Mathieson explained the warm weather, above 16 degrees, prompts the cold-blooded animal to become active again and seek food.

“They are ectothermic, which means they run on outside temperature; when their blood is too cold they go in a state of hibernation, they are inactive and don’t hunt and become reclusive, hiding in logs and underground,” he said.

“That is why they become flighty on hot days, and very lethargic on cold days.”

Mr Mathieson’s fascination with the reptiles stemmed from a fear of them as a child.

He now aims to spread awareness about wildlife encounters.

Latrobe Valley’s most common snakes are Tiger, Copperhead, Red Belly Black and the Eastern Brown.

According to Mr Mathieson, the Eastern Brown was the most dangerous due to its high aggression rate and found east of Traralgon in the Rosedale area.

“The worst thing you could do is approach it or try and kill it, people trying to kill them actually highly contribute to the snake bite statistics,” he said.

“If you find a snake around your property call the police, snake catcher, council or the Department of Sustainability and Environment.

“Do not do it yourself, leave it to people with training and experience.”

With reports of a drier summer ahead, Mr Mathieson predicted a higher number of calls with residential snake sightings.

“This year is if it is drier, animals will come out seeking water around houses because we provide the perfect environment with food and water when this starts to become scarce in the wild.”