Holidaymakers warned of snakes and crocodiles hiding in 'unexpected places' after Cyclone Jasper

"They may appear in unexpected places, including yards, sheds, vehicles, houses and on play equipment"

As Aussies set out on holiday adventures, visitors to one of the nation’s most popular regions are urged to be on the lookout for snakes and crocodiles in “unexpected places”.

With Far North Queensland continuing to mop up after Cyclone Jasper crossed the coast on Wednesday afternoon, authorities are advising tourists to stay away from flood waters.

Early warnings from some publications that crocodiles could be soon roaming the streets of Cairns have failed to eventuate, and locals quickly laughed off the "threat". But the Department of Environment and Science (DES) says reptiles will be on the move in some parts of the state as they seek calmer waters.

A flooded Captain Cook Highway with a grey sky.
On Thursday the Captain Cook Highway was closed by flood waters near Holloways Beach at Cairns. Source: Queensland Police

A wildlife expert at DES Lindsay Delzoppo recalled that a large crocodile was once discovered in someone’s backyard after flooding, but it moved on after the water receded.

What do I do if I see a snake or crocodile?

Video of a crocodile swimming off the coast in the Mackay region was shared to social media, accompanied by the words “Cyclone Jasper bringing out the crocs”. But seeing them in this region is not unusual and DES advises they can swim into all Far North Queensland waterways even when there is no signage.

What’s more likely is that people in the region will encounter snakes. If you do see a reptile slithering where it shouldn’t be, then it’s important that you don’t try and relocate it yourself.

Moving or harming snakes without a license is illegal, but it’s also likely to result in the snake feeling provoked and needing to defend itself.

“Snakes are very good swimmers, but they dislike flooding too and they could seek higher ground during a flood event,” Delzoppo said.

“They may appear in unexpected places, including yards, sheds, vehicles, houses and on play equipment while they rest. People who see snakes in their homes or on their property should not attempt to catch or remove it.”

Humans generally pose a greater risk to reptiles than they do to us, but to avoid risk, it's important to follow the advice of authorities and stay out of floodwaters. If a crocodile does attack a human it will likely be deemed a threat and be euthanised.

Crocodiles can be reported on the DES website or by calling 1300 130 372. Snakes will generally move away if they're not attacked by a human, but when one does pose a danger a licensed snake removalist should be called.

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