A close encounter with a large venomous snake for two unsuspecting children is being used as a stark reminder to act appropriately around Australia’s native wildlife.
Seasoned snake catcher Barry Goldsmith shared a remarkable image of the kids skipping along a dirt track in Eskdale on the Mitta Mitta river in Victoria’s northeast on Monday.
Unbeknown to them, an eastern brown snake lies just inches from their feet as they edge past.
Mr Goldsmith was sent the image by the children’s grandfather and wanted to use it as the perfect opportunity to explain how to handle snake encounters as sightings continue to rise moving closer to summer.
Taken by the children’s mother, she only noticed the snake while looking back at the photos of their outing.
Mr Goldsmith, who runs Snake Catcher Victoria Australia, told Yahoo News Australia it is essential people treat the reptiles with respect.
“They’re not aggressive and they’re not out to hurt us,” he said.
“Of course some people are terrified by snakes and I’m not asking you to love the snake.
“But you don’t need to kill it... just respect it.”
Mr Goldsmith said the picture perfectly highlights how snakes won’t attack or chase people if they’re not antagonised.
“He wasn’t surprised by them and pulled back and got out of the kids way,” he pointed out.
He explained the snake wouldn’t have seen the children as a threat as he observed them continue in their path.
‘Snakes don’t attack people’
He also noted there needs to be a shift in attitudes to snakes to ensure people don’t fear the reptiles.
“We all live in Australia after all. Any given time we never more than a kilometre from a snake,” Mr Goldsmith said.
“First thing to do is stop, look at the snake and appreciate it for the special Australian wildlife it is... even take a photo of it if you want.”
He said snakes aren’t going to attack or chase people on their own accord – a statement he refers to as fact after never experiencing such behaviour handling over 10,000 snakes.
For Mr Goldsmith it is vital children are educated on how to behave when encountering snakes and the responsibility lies with their parents.
“If the kids see people killing snakes, they’ll want to do the same,” he said.
The warning comes at a time snake sightings are becoming common across the country, and even in built up urban areas, according to Mr Goldsmith.
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