Experts issue "extreme caution" warning as Aussie snake sightings increase

Source: Xinhua| 2019-09-03 11:04:40|Editor: Shi Yinglun
Video PlayerClose

SYDNEY, Sept. 3 (Xinhua) -- When the warming Spring season rolls in Down Under, the rising temperatures are usually a signal for Aussies to go outside and enjoy the great outdoors. But experts are warning on Tuesday that people aren't the only ones who relish a little extra sunlight this time of year.

The Australian Reptile Park is calling for the public to exercise "extreme caution" when heading outside over the next few months with snake sightings already on the increase.

While snakes typically awaken from their winter hibernation slightly later into the Spring season for mating, recent heavy rains on Australia's east coast seems to have got the cold-blooded creatures out of bed a bit early this season.

"It is out of the ordinary to see snakes this early," Australian Reptile Park's Head of Reptiles, Daniel Rumsey said.

"Snakes don't go out to harm humans, but if you get in their path or startle them, they will bite, and it can be fatal."

Home to 21 of the world's 25 most venomous snakes, there are approximately 3,000 recorded snake bites in Australia every year with an average of two deaths.

Urging locals to brush up on their snake bite first aid knowledge, Rumsey said "while the Australian Reptile Park saves approximately 300 lives each year through our antivenom program, experience tells us basic awareness and safety can also help save lives".

"All households should keep grass areas around houses low and well maintained; also avoid piling up leftover wood from winter or accumulating stick piles," he said.

"Tin sheets or any household items like these that are piled up, can draw in heat providing a perfect man-made habitat for snakes."

"These areas provide a safe house for snakes as they sit in stealth mode awaiting prey to feed, and if startled they will defend through biting."

Although deadly snakes can be a difficult part of everyday life Down Under, Rumsey added that "Australians are doing what they can to coexist with our slithery friends".