It’s slitherin’ season

Copperhead snake

By Justin Flynn

Ocean Grovers have reported an increase in snake sightings with the warmer weather.
Snake sightings have been reported at Begola Wetlands, Kingston Estate parklands, Collendina and several sightings in Barwon Heads near the Barwon River and particularly copperhead snakes along the levy bank.
Snakes are coming out of hibernation to breed, are territorial and, at this time of year, aggressive.
Darren Keiller, who runs Snake Catcher Geelong, said he expected business to pick up within the next few weeks.
“I think it will really pick up fairly soon,” he said.
“Last year was super busy. They are very misunderstood – they don’t want to bite. If you see one, just back off quickly away from it.”
When the Voice spoke to Mr Keiller, he had just returned from catching a snake in Marshall.
“The owners of a dog were alerted to the snake by the dog barking, at the snake which was behind a log,” he said.
Locals have reported their dogs being bitten and killed by snakes in recent weeks.
Dog owners are urged to keep their pets on a lead and not let them run into bushland or long grass.
“If a dog starts acting weird or vomiting, that’s a sure sign that’s been bitten,” Mr Keiller said.
“All snakes a deaf, it’s the smell of the dog that they will pick up on first. It doesn’t matter how much noise you’re making – they won’t hear you.”
People are being reminded to wear long pants and boots while mowing or whipper snipping.
Mr Keiller said around 90 per cent of the snakes he caught were tiger snakes, but copperheads were also common.