Snake catcher’s most hair-raising ‘relocations’
It's a high-adrenaline job, but somebody's got to do it.
Brisbane North Snake Catchers and Relocation's Steven Brown routinely deals with some of the world's most deadly reptiles, although recently he has mostly been relocating harmless carpet snakes.
Mr Brown, who deals with snakes right across the southeast, predicted there would be more snakes out and about this spring and summer after a lean year during the drought across eastern Australia.
"We're coming into the September breeding season when males are trying to find females. They don't care if they're seen, they only have one thing on their mind,'' he said.
"There will be a lot more sightings from now on, but last year we were getting only one or two a day as the drought meant snakes were hiding away and conserving their energy.''
Mr Brown, who is also a registered wildlife carer, said he was busy during the drought looking after dehydrated and malnourished snakes and other native animals.
Here are some of the more interesting "customers'' he has handled this year.
EASTERN BROWN, LAWNTON
COASTAL CARPET PYTHON, ELIMBAH
YELLOW FACED WHIPSNAKE, GRIFFIN
EASTERN SMALL EYES, CLEAR MOUNTAIN
EASTERN BROWN, HIGHVALE
COASTAL CARPET PYTHON, THE GAP
COASTAL CARPET PYTHON, SAMFORD VALLEY
EASTERN BROWN, DAYBORO
STEVEN BROWN'S TIPS IF BITTEN BY A SNAKE
1. Always make sure you and the bite victim are no longer at a risk of the snake.
2. Keep bite victim CALM AND STILL as movement will increase the spread of the venom.
3. DO NOT wash or interfere with the bite site. this will allow medical staff to test what type of snake venom it is. Do not remove clothing but DO remove jewellery to allow for swelling.
4. Apply first aid immediately with an elasticised pressure bandage
5. Starting either just above the finger tips or tips of the toes this allows you to check for blood flow. Apply the bandage about as tight as you would wrap a sprained ankle. Work your way up the limb, covering the bite site and the rest of the limb including any item of clothing.
Once bandage is applied mark the bandage with an X where the bite site is, so medical staff waste no time finding it.
6. Immobilise the limb with a splint so the limb cant move with another bandage holding the splint in place. If no splint make sure patient does not move the limb and stays very calm.
7. Write what time the bite happened and what time the bandage was applied on the bandage. This helps medical staff.
8. STAYING CALM AND KEEP AN EYE ON THE BITE VICTIM Call triple triple-0 once first aid is applied and follow the professional advice that is on the phone.
9. No food or drink should to be taken
10. Stay with the victim, checking the blood flow of the limb by either pressing on the tip of the finger or toe, and making sure it returns to its normal colour until help arrives.
11. NEVER wash bite site, use a tourniquet or try to catch the snake.
12. The best pressure bandages to use are proper snake bite bandages that have indicators which help to apply the correct pressure to the limb.
Every household should have two to three of these bandages just in case.
As every limb is never the same size and you might need to apply two bandages.
They can be bought at most chemists or first aid store. DO NOT USE CHEAP BANDAGES.
13. Call a licensed and insured snake catcher if you ever happen to encounter a snake. Brisbane Snake Catchers and Relocation's 24 hour, seven day a week hotline is 0449 922 341
Originally published as Snake catcher's most hair-raising 'relocations'