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Need help with snakes this season? Don’t ask TAMS.

By M - 4 November 2013 90

brown snake

A sunny Sunday afternoon at my place was interrupted by a baby brown snake making it’s way into my front yard – casually seeking some warmth on our concrete driveway. Having small pets, we were carefully trying to make sure it couldn’t get into our bushes where it would never be found or we couldn’t track it to make sure it was gone.

Deciding just to keep an eye on it, we noticed it moved into our neighbours backyard. They often have small children playing in their yard, so this is when we decided to call TAMS to try and get a ranger out to safely remove the snake before someone got hurt. Do you think TAMS were concerned? Not in the slightest. Their advice ranged from “is it in the sun?” to “turn on your sprinkler to make sure it doesn’t get in your garden”. We stressed heavily it was in the vicinity of toddlers and was hanging around, rather than moving on, yet still no help.

Having checked their website since, they point out that it’s a criminal offence to kill a snake as they are ‘protected’ – yet they don’t want to help out the community by assisting where necessary. I’d assume this forces people to take matters into their own hands.

So to TAMS and their rangers, I say, thanks for nothing! I’ll be sure to remember how little you helped me next time the local government is asking for my help.

[Image via Wikicommons]

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90 Responses to
Need help with snakes this season? Don’t ask TAMS.
magiccar9 11:59 am 04 Nov 13

c_c™ said :

Anyway, to the OP, get over it. The snake won’t stay around for long, so you keep the kids inside for a while. Snakes are naturally shy, so they’re unlikely to approach activity anyway, like loud kids running around anyway.

While this may be true in some cases, it certainly wasn’t in this case. The snake hung around for the entire afternoon. And it’s a little more difficult with pets, but I suppose from your reply you wouldn’t understand this. It’s easy to keep a child indoors/educate them, not so easy for a dog or cat that needs to go outside. Also, animals aren’t as heavy footed as humans.

Second to your point, my neighbours aren’t from Australia – so they don’t exactly know our nature and what comes with it – especially their children.

MrBigEars said :

Snakes rarely or never hang around in people’s backyards for any significant length of time.

Try telling that to an elderly woman I met recently who has a brown snake living under her back deck. It refuses to move on, and TAMS still do nothing to help her. Unless it’s in her house they refuse to do anything. She literally can’t use her backyard during the warmer months.

And for the record, I’m not asking for their help every time I see a snake. I just feel that when it poses a measurable risk to the community, they should pull their finger out and help – else allow us to take matters into our own hands if we choose.

Robertson 11:43 am 04 Nov 13

Gosh, I’m so helpless I need the government to protect me.

c_c™ said :

All your friend did was kill a protected species that posed negligible risk, in a manner the increased the likelihood or injury.

I imagine his friend considers his children to be a rather more “protected” species than the extremely common and extremely dangerous brown snake.

Children have far poorer spacial awareness than adults. That’s why we have school zones on roads around schools. And it’s also why careful parents take care of any snakes they see anywhere near the home.

bearlikesbeer 11:42 am 04 Nov 13

Killing native animals

(1) A person shall not, except in accordance with a licence, kill a native animal.

Maximum penalty:

(a) if the animal has special protection status—100 penalty units, imprisonment for 1 year or both; or

(b) in any other case—50 penalty units, imprisonment for 6 months or both.

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to or in relation to the killing of an animal in circumstances in which the animal constitutes a danger to a person.

http://www.legislation.act.gov.au/a/1980-20/current/pdf/1980-20.pdf

poetix 11:11 am 04 Nov 13

davo101 said :

GYW said :

BTW, the best way to get bitten by a snake is to attack it with a shovel.

I thought it was stepping on one while bush walking.

I thought it was being an egg.

MrBigEars 11:04 am 04 Nov 13

Watson said :

Wow, really? You would expect the rangers to go on a wild goose chase for a baby brown that would undoubtedly have been nowhere where it was last sighted before they were called?

Snakes rarely or never hang around in people’s backyards for any significant length of time.

You should teach kids how to behave around snakes, from a very early age. They’re everywhere here in summer, so you shouldn’t just count on the guv’mint keeping them away from you.

Having done a bit of snake molesting, this is pretty accurate. And having being called out to a snake that turned out to be skink, I can perhaps understand the bluetongue comment.

Junglejack 11:03 am 04 Nov 13

#8

c_c™

10:42 am, 04 Nov 13

Whoa, wow-wee, you really are on top of all things with your vast knowledge and opinion!!!

davo101 10:56 am 04 Nov 13

GYW said :

BTW, the best way to get bitten by a snake is to attack it with a shovel.

I thought it was stepping on one while bush walking.

c_c™ 10:42 am 04 Nov 13

Madam Cholet said :

This issue was disucussed on ABC radio last week. I couldn’t gauge whether those over the border who deal with snakes would attend to ACT dwelling snakes though. Probably not.

They’re not allowed to under law.

Anyway, to the OP, get over it. The snake won’t stay around for long, so you keep the kids inside for a while. Snakes are naturally shy, so they’re unlikely to approach activity anyway, like loud kids running around anyway.

Pitchka said :

Friend of mine recently decapitated a nearly 2m brown snake in their backyard… Very gutsy if you ask me, however better that, then not knowing where it is with small kids in the vicinity.

Your friend is an idiot. The easiest way to get bitten is to challenge a snake, in most other circumstances the snake will retreat, often before you even see it. All your friend did was kill a protected species that posed negligible risk, in a manner the increased the likelihood or injury.

I’m guessing most people don’t know that, certainly in the case of Eastern Browns, the majority of defencive bites will be dry bites. That is to say no venom at all.

It’s a bit like red backs, they have a fierce reputation, and yet few people would know that a) most bites will cause nothing more than localised pain (made worse by misguided use of pressure bandage), and b) only 10% of people will need anti-venom at all.

Kim F 10:36 am 04 Nov 13

They will remove it if it is in the house. They removed one for us when it was in the garage which was under the house with internal access

GYW 10:35 am 04 Nov 13

BTW, the best way to get bitten by a snake is to attack it with a shovel.

Watson 10:35 am 04 Nov 13

Wow, really? You would expect the rangers to go on a wild goose chase for a baby brown that would undoubtedly have been nowhere where it was last sighted before they were called?

Snakes rarely or never hang around in people’s backyards for any significant length of time.

You should teach kids how to behave around snakes, from a very early age. They’re everywhere here in summer, so you shouldn’t just count on the guv’mint keeping them away from you.

If you cannot deal with local wildlife using your backyard as a corridor, I suggest you go live in an apartment instead.

GYW 10:34 am 04 Nov 13

This frustrates me too. I trained in snake handling with a Queanbeyan wildlife care organisation, but in the ACT no-one other than government rangers are allowed to relocate snakes. And, as far as I can tell, most of them aren’t very enthusiastic about it.

Thumper 10:30 am 04 Nov 13

Had the same problem in my backyard a couple of years ago.

TAMS wanted nothing to do with it even though said snake, roughly two metres of highly venomous dog/ cat/ children killing brown, had clearly taken up residence.

Sadly this snake may not exist any longer….

Bizarrely the woman at TAMS suggested to me that it may be a bluetongue lizard….

Pitchka 10:24 am 04 Nov 13

Friend of mine recently decapitated a nearly 2m brown snake in their backyard… Very gutsy if you ask me, however better that, then not knowing where it is with small kids in the vicinity.

Madam Cholet 10:19 am 04 Nov 13

This issue was disucussed on ABC radio last week. I couldn’t gauge whether those over the border who deal with snakes would attend to ACT dwelling snakes though. Probably not.

Room in the market for a wrangler.

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