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Dangerous snake sightings close wetlands



GREENFIELDS Wetlands near Mawson Lakes has been closed to the public until further notice due to a high number of dangerous snakes.

Salisbury Council last week closed the popular wetlands in Dry Creek indefinitely because of public safety concerns following the snake sightings.

More than 12 snakes have been spotted and reported to council in the Salisbury region this year, with seven of those reports made last month with the coming of spring.

In the past three months, 10 sightings had been reported to the council.

A council spokesman said the wetlands had been closed after staff identified increased snake movements in the area.

The spokesman could not provide further details on what snakes had been spotted.

The most common dangerous snakes spotted in South Australia include the eastern brown snake, the red-bellied black snake and the tiger snake.

Mawson Lakes Vets4Pets nurse Mel Kisbee said the centre had administered 22 doses of antivenene since mid-September, up from 14 last year.

“There have been a lot of snakes in the north, especially this year — our first one of the season was in Mawson Lakes,” Mrs Kisbee said.

“Last year we had all that rain, saw a couple of snakes and then didn’t see anything, but this year they just keep on coming.

“One client recently said her dog saved her life because she was about to bath the dog and it was going off its head at a snake — she didn’t realise it was there.”

She said the number of pets who had been attacked was much higher, as many animals died before being administered the antivenene.

She urged anyone whose animals had been bitten by a snake to take their pet to a vet as soon as possible to receive antivenene.

Two of the three confirmed sightings in the past six weeks on Facebook page Adelaide Snake Sightings were in Mawson Lakes.

Mawson Lakes resident Sammy Ford was concerned by the number of snakes spotted in the area.

“They are definitely out early this year,” Ms Ford said on the page.

“I saw one on Elder Drive a few weeks ago and gave my three-year-old a chat about what to do if she comes across a snake — scary thought.”

SNAKE TIPS:

■ Leave it alone — snakes are not likely to chase you if you let them be.

■ If you see a snake inside, get all humans and pets out of the room, shut the door, fill the gap underneath with a towel and call a professional snake catcher.

■ If you see a snake outside, call a snake catcher if it disappears into a shed or under a vehicle.

■ Remember that even little snakes can be dangerous — baby brown snakes have venom right from the egg.

■ Stick to the trails in parks and reserves.



■ Keep your yard clear of long grass and rubbish.

■ Clean up after chooks and control rodents on your property as rats and mice are food for snakes.

Source: Environment Department



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