Good man… a red-belly black snake, which is reluctant to chew. Picture by Heike Hahner

SNAKES are an important concern to many conventional and distinctive pets homeowners and with spring now in full swing reptiles, together with snakes, are making a comeback to our native setting.

Canine incessantly get bitten as a result of they harass or assault snakes.

Killing snakes in entrance of a canine, aside from being unlawful, will enhance the possibilities that it’s going to tackle snakes, as canines can study by way of commentary.

If a canine is allowed to kill lizards and skinks, it can don’t have any hesitation to assault a snake and should obtain a deadly chew because the reptile defends itself.

Nevertheless scary snakes could seem, they don’t got down to chew folks and, typically, are elusive and attempt to conceal from people. Coming throughout a snake is usually as scary for the reptile as it’s for us and there are issues we are able to do to keep away from getting canines – and ourselves – bitten by snakes, as an example:

  • Maintain canines away from or beneath management close to potential snake shelters reminiscent of rocks, logs, hole timber, lengthy grass, rabbit and wombat hollows, culverts and garbage piles.
  • Be additional cautious anyplace close to waterways. If taking a canine for a swim, search out areas with flat and open floor, that don’t supply hiding spots for snakes.
  • Stroll canines within the morning, reasonably than within the afternoon. Snakes might want to heat up within the morning after the cooler evening, in order that they’re extra sluggish. As soon as we get hotter nights, care should be taken always.
  • Stroll canines on pathways or roads or in mowed or grazed paddocks the place there’s a great view of the bottom forward.
  • Shield gardens and homes from snakes by masking the decrease a part of backyard fences with a tremendous mesh, reminiscent of chook netting.
  • Keep away from offering shelter and meals for snakes. Keep away from litter round the home to discourage snakes from taking on residence.
  • Chook meals and scraps appeal to rats and mice, offering snakes with some tempting meals. Feed chooks with simply as a lot as they’ll eat in about 10 minutes and keep away from having scraps mendacity round to maintain mice and rats at bay.
  • Encourage much less aggressive snakes to remain round to assist to maintain the extra aggressive snakes away. Black snake and the red-belly black snake are calm and reluctant to chew. They’re additionally cannibals and can eat different snakes.
  • Encourage birds reminiscent of kookaburras and herons into your native setting. They’ll preserve the infant snake inhabitants beneath management.
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At all times use excessive warning round snakes and name knowledgeable snake handler for recommendation and assist to take away the reptile. Assist may be discovered at: Entry Canberra, 132281; Canberra Reptile Rescue, 0405 405304; snake catcher, Alex Borg, 0421 281439; Queanbeyan Wildcare,  6299 1966 and RSPCA Injured Wildlife, 6287 8100.

Heike Hahner is a canine and pet coaching and psychology guide, [email protected]


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Ian Meikle, editor