The West

Watch out for snakes
Tiger snake

As summer approaches the Department of Conservation has warned Warren Blackwood residents to be aware of the increased activity of dangerous snakes.

Venomous tiger snakes and dugites will generally avoid humans as they come out of winter hibernation, but precautions still need to be taken.

‘‘When it comes to snakes, extra care should betaken when venturing outdoors, particularly near swamps, lakes and bushland,’’ DEC wildlife officer Matthew Swan said.

‘‘Snakes will normally try to avoid humans, but people still need to be vigilant and take precautions such as wearing long pants and enclosed shoes when walking along bush trails.

‘‘Most snake bites occur when people accidentally stand on a snake or try to kill it.

‘‘Residents can also reduce the risk of having a snake in the backyard by keeping the yard clear of long grass and discarded household items,’’ he said.

Mr Swan also urged dog owners to be particularly careful, a call which was echoed by Manjimup Veterinary Clinic veterinarian Dr Samantha Wright.

‘‘Tiger snakes and dugites can be vicious if provoked by curious dogs and other pets,’’ she said.

‘‘Animals suffering from snake bite are likely to show obvious signs of ill-health, including discoloured urine, shaking and excessive drooling.’’

Dr Wright said pet owners who learnt snake identification and could recognise whentheir animal was in trouble had a better chance of saving their life.

For information about snakes on your property phone DEC’s 24-hour Wildcare Helpline 9474 9055.

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