Lifestyle

Watch out! Snakes on the slither

Beware of snakes this summer. Queensland Ambulance Service is urging residents and tourists to exercise caution when outdoors, in particular when walking through long grass.
Beware of snakes this summer. Queensland Ambulance Service is urging residents and tourists to exercise caution when outdoors, in particular when walking through long grass. Claudia Baxter

SUMMER means snakes are on the move, and Ipswich folk are being urged to be on the lookout for them.

Snake expert Brian Robinson said the most important thing to do was leave the snake alone, and if your dog was barking at it, call the dog back rather than approach the snake.

"Snake usually respond in a defensive manner; definitely don't try and kill them as it's illegal and can be prosecuted by law," Mr Robinson said.

"It's not just there to protect the snakes; it's there to protect people too.

"They are reclusive animals and while they're common in suburbia they're not commonly seen.

They prefer to avoid detection from things that are larger than them and a negative reaction is purely a defence mechanism.

QAS Local Ambulance Service Network (LASN) assistant commissioner Dee Taylor-Dutton said prevention was better than a cure when it came to snakebites.

"Queensland is home to some of the deadliest snakes in the world, including the red-bellied black, eastern brown and common death adder," Ms Taylor-Dutton said.

"It's important to be cautious when working outdoors or in a snake's habitat. If you're cleaning up your property, be careful shifting timber, iron sheeting or similar materials as a snake may be lingering nearby.

"Avoid walking through long grass, but if you have to, wear enclosed shoes and long pants and carry a compression bandage with you.

"When camping, ensure your campsite is well lit at night. It is also important for someone to have a clear understanding of first aid and what to do in an emergency situation."

Ms Taylor-Dutton said if someone was bitten, call triple-0 immediately, and keep the patient as calm as possible.

"It's best to assume the snake is venomous and call for help. Panicking will cause the heart rate to increase and spread the poison around the body quicker," Ms Taylor-Dutton said.

"Knowing first aid can make a real difference for the patient. The QAS offers comprehensive first aid courses that ensure people are prepared for a wide range of emergency situations."

Two weeks ago an 80-year-old man from Wilsons Plains, 30km south of Ipswich, died after being bitten by a 1.5m brown snake that he killed.

Nearby resident Paul Roderick said brown snakes were common in the area. He had last seen one just before the elderly man died.

Mr Robinson said in his 30 years of handling snakes, he had never heard of them chasing a human.

"Snakes won't chase you," he said. "I've been working with snakes for 30 years and never had one notion of a snake chasing you.

"The key is about people realising chasing a snake will escalate level of conflict.

A snake left alone is perfectly harmless, but to handle them you need a specialised-type permit as it can be a risky business.

Snake First Aid

  • Avoid washing the wound as hospitals may test the bandage for poison to help identify the snake;
  • If you only have one bandage, start binding over the bite site and then work up the limb. If more bandages are available, bandage over the bite site, and then with a second bandage start at the extremities (fingers or toes) and work up the limb. Bandage the limb firmly, as you would for a sprained ankle and;
  • Splint the limb to keep it straight and do not allow the patient to move around.

Topics:  snakes




Why Ipswich is hooked on cruising

PACIFIC CRUISE: The beauty of an Island cruise is the opportunity to go ashore to swim and snorkel.

Tropical weather calls to travellers

Odd jobs on hold for sports feast

LEGEND: Jamaican sensation Usain Bolt.

Time to let those sleepless nights begin

Chipping in for new strings

ON SHOW: Ipswich Girls' Grammar has traditionally joined forced with IGS to produce top quality stage productions like 'Thoroughly Modern Millie'. (INSET) Old Girls' Association chair Leah Bell.

Senior Matters with QT columnist Wayne Macdonnell

Latest deals and offers

Drowning Pool gig review at Max Watt's

Drowning Pool played Brisbane with A Breach of Silence and She Cries Wolf at the Max Watt's House of Music.

Drowning Pool prove that 'bodies' hit the floor when they play

#SaveMarinaJoyce: How ISIS theory took over youtube channel

One young Youtuber accidentally gave rise to a conspiracy theory

Talking whiskey with Jack Daniel’s master distiller

It all comes down to the distillery

10 things to do this weekend

Luke Heggie is appearing at the Ipswich Civic Centre as part of the 2016 Sydney Comedy Festival Showcase

Looking for something to do in Ipswich this weekend?

SIXTY MILES AHEAD sign with Eclipse Records, prepare new album 'Insanity'

Sixty Miles Ahead sign with Eclipse. Photo Contributed

Sixty Miles Ahead to release new album on Eclipse

Thy Art Is Murder are killing it

See Thy Art is Murder on their killer tour happening right now. Photo Contributed

We talk with Thy Art is Murder about touring, babies, and new music

Queensland's $1 town goes under the hammer today

The township of Yelarbon is up for sale.

Unprecedented auction of town's business centre with no reserve

Australia Post to open at Orion

Australia Post.

Service to open to customers in late August

Town with 'unique country flair' will be ruined: resident

Jonathan Emms of Rosewood is concerned about a proposed townhouse development for this John Street block of land.

Residents concerned by high density development proposal

Work starts on $15M Caloundra apartment building

Turning the first sod at the Aqua View Apartments site in Kings Beach are (from left) husband-and-wife developers Alex Yuan and Stella Sun with construction company Tomkins director Mike Tomkins and Councillor Tim Dwyer.

Developers excited about addition to Kings Beach skyline

72-year-old Coast developer set to start new project

GREEN LIGHT: The Cosmopolitan has been approved for development at Cotton Tree.

Meet the Canberran set to deliver another chapter for Coast suburb