Bundy's slithering but don't panic, says snake catcher
SNAKES - they're not exactly cute and cuddly, but if you ask Dallarnil serpent catcher Andrew Buckley they're copping a far worse reputation than they deserve.
Following news a woman had been bitten by a snake at Agnes Water at the weekend, the NewsMail's Facebook likers shared their snake experiences and photos, proving the slithery reptiles are truly on the move as mating season hots up.
While Mr Buckley said he hadn't exactly seen more snakes than usual, he said mating season was an active time for them.
"A lot of people think snakes hibernate but they don't. I had calls all through winter," he said.
NewsMail reader Vicki Hay said she had seen two snakes in the past six weeks, while Katie Grimson said seen plenty.
"Have seen a couple of red belly blacks in the our horse paddocks beautiful creatures they are," she said.
"There have been some pythons and tree snakes in and around our feed sheds too."
Pieta Hill said she saw a big brown snake crossing the road near the airport.
For Melanie Harris, a snake encounter turned costly.
"My cat was bitten by a brown snake on Friday last week, luckily she will be okay but that's after an expensive trip to the vet," she said.
Other recent reports include snakes found in boats, a big tiger snake spotted at Moore Park, some massive eastern browns, snakes slithering on suburban streets and three spotted by one reader on Branyan Rd.
Mr Buckley said the region's most common snakes were the coastal carpet python, the eastern brown, the common tree snake and the red belly black.
Red belly blacks, he said, were actually quite shy.
Another common misconception Mr Buckley said people held about snakes was that they were laying in wait, ready to attack.
"At the end of the day you only have a chance of being bitten if you interfere with them," he said.
Most bites came as a result of people trying to interfere with or kill a snake, according to Mr Buckley.
The life of snake-catching is one Mr Buckley loves, and says far from being stressful, it teaches him to relax because he has to be calm.
One such occasion involved removing a red belly black that was hiding in piping at the site of the developing Childers solar farm.
On another recent occasion, he was called out to rescue a tree snake that had climbed to the top of a tree at Palm Lake Resort after it was chased by birds.
"I've always loved things that people hate," Mr Buckley said.
"I like cockroaches and I've got a tarantula and a snake."
His only regret is that he didn't take up snake catching sooner.
"The more there's a negative image around something the more I tend to be drawn to it," Mr Buckley said.
He said the best course of action if a snake was in the way was to give it space and call a snake catcher if needed.
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