SnakeSense: Conserving Australian Snakes and Lizards through Education

Sharing knowledge, conserving reptiles: snake catching, education, research, conservation.

Back in action!

SnakeSense's Snake Transport Bin

SnakeSense's Snake Transport Bin

After a month of near-silence, the phone is ringing again with snake-calls!  Theories abound regarding why the calls come and go when they do … maybe December provided plenty of ideal temperatures for snakes to adjust their behaviour to avoid humans, but now the weather is pushing 40 degrees C, they are back to grabbing windows of 28-30 degree opportunity whenever they can.  Whatever the true cause behind the pattern: SnakeSense is happy to be back on the road!   

We just caught two very lovely ladies … first: a huge, glossy Red-Bellied Black Snake at Taggerty, tucked quietly under the frame of a less-than-pleased farmer’s front door.  As is the character of her species, she lay there patiently whilst Georgina prodded and poked to obtain a tail hold – without the slightest complaint – but once her body was in the air and her head in the bag, that was it… she was ANGRY! 

That’s what we love about Red-Bellies.  They’re such calm, gentle, docile creatures … but you can almost hear them say it … “Alright, now look, I’ve been patient with you; I think I’ve been very, very understanding … but that’s it, I’m sorry, that does it, YOU’VE CROSSED THE LINE!”

She thrashed and growled and hissed and complained continuously until once again, the bag was opened … and she was released into a pleasant patch of wilderness any snake would be proud to call her own.  But was she grateful?  No!  She high-tailed it so fast there wasn’t even time to push the button on the ever-poised camera.  Better luck next time…

And second, an exceedingly upset Tiger Snake made our acquintance just after 9pm on Saturday.  Having spent the entire 40 degree day hidden in a mound of rubble in Buxton, she had just appeared to enjoy a clear, balmy evening, when a dreadfully impertinent dog ruined her entire day by barking it’s head off, right in her face.  To make matters worse, in her estimation, the dog’s owner rushed immediately indoors to telephone us, and within minutes, she had us on her doorstep as well!

Catching snakes in the dark is FUN, and she certainly generated some wild entertainment.  After such a rude canine disturbance, she was not going to take capture likely, and thrashed, struck and screamed like a madwoman. 

Feeling more than a little guilty for upsetting her so, we went to extra special trouble to find (in the dark!) the loveliest of ponds for her out in the bush where a wealth of tasty Eastern Banjo Frogs could be heard just waiting to provide her next meal.  If her prompt quietening down upon release was gratitude, then that’s great … but what the frogs thought of her arrival, I hate to imagine…….

(Sorry froggies).

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Did you know?

    Australia has more snakes than marsupialsAustralia has produced more species of snake than marsupial, in one sixth of the time. - for the animals.