BITE SPIKE: Snake catcher Rhys Chapman says leave it to the professionals when it comes to snakes.
BITE SPIKE: Snake catcher Rhys Chapman says leave it to the professionals when it comes to snakes. John McCutcheon

Sunshine Coast tops charts with slithering snake bites

SUNSHINE Coast has been revealed as the worst hit region in the state for snake bites with nearly 100 cases this year.

New data from the Queensland Ambulance Service has ranked the Coast as the highest in Queensland for snake bites, with 96 incidents attended by paramedics from November 2017 to December 2018.

Despite the results, Sunshine Coast Snake Catchers 24/7 manager Jack Hogan said snakes only reacted when people did.

"Their biggest reaction is movement," he said.

"It can be an instant reaction to panic when you see a snake, but people need to remain calm and keep distance."

Mr Hogan has been wrangling snakes since before he could walk, saying they've always been his passion.

 

Jack Hogan holds a massive coastal carpet python after eating a possum for lunch.
Jack Hogan holds a massive coastal carpet python after eating a possum for lunch. Rhys Chapman

Although April recorded the highest number (19), Mr Hogan said bites could happen at any time of the year.

"You really have to agitate a snake for it to attack," he said.

"In April, they're tucking back away, but it's when people try and be a hero and kill a snake that it reacts."

Reported incidents on the Sunshine Coast this year included some in classrooms, universities and backyards.

The scaly result is the highest on QAS record, dating back to 2013.

Mr Hogan said dispersed animals were becoming more common as commercial developments arose on the Coast.

"We had a lot of activity earlier this year, but it's weather and food that dictates their movements," he said.

Fellow snake catcher, Rhys Chapman said drier areas were a favourite for eastern brown snakes, while marshy areas were home to red-bellies.

 

Rhys Chapman relocated a large red-bellied black snake from under a fridge.
Rhys Chapman relocated a large red-bellied black snake from under a fridge. Jack Hogan

The owner of Rhys Chapman Wildlife Services said although there were some chilling tales of snakes in homes, it was usually human error which drew them inside.

"House-calls aren't the most common call-out, but it's usually when someone left a door open they go inside to find a cool spot," he said.

Now in the middle of summer and school holidays, Mr Chapman said families needed to have a conversation with their children about snake encounters.

"It's like a domino-effect. Parents freak out and then the snakes freak out, too," he said.

"It's always best to keep calm, use a calm voice and call a professional.

"We aren't here just to remove them, we have a love for them and relocate them properly."

If you need a snake relocated, find more information here.



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