In a few weeks I fly off to the Gold Coast in Queensland. In the emantime here in Victoria, the weather is hot and the snakes are out and about.
It’s Christmas eve in 2011 and the temperature is somewhere near about 30 Deg C, although I think the sea breeze has kicked in to reduce the worst of it.
As I drive through bushy Warrandyte on the edge of Melbourne, Victoria to catch a snake that’s disturbed children playing by a swimming pool, I soon find myself rescuing yet another Tiger Snake from a shovel.
Melbourne’s had a fairly average December, in terms of average temperatures, but I must say, it hasn’t seemed particularly warm to me.
Yesterday (23 December) I had eight people calling Snakebusters wanting us to remove snakes from their properties.
Yes it was hot day of nearly 30 Deg C.
I only actually did two of the call-outs.
The rest were either given to other licenced snake catchers, or in some cases the people were talked out of getting anyone to remove the snakes.
You see, when a snake is seen disappearing under a back fence, or similar, it’s often better just to let them do that!
Let them dissapear and you will probably never see them again.
I give out this advice a lot and people are surprised that I am talking them out of paying me to come to their place to remove a reptile.
However I am ethical and there’s no way I’d come to a person’s place if I didn’t think I had a reasonable chance of catching the snake.
One call out I had this week was to remove a Brown Snake living under a boulder in a garden at Plenty, a bushland suburb in Melbourne’s northern outskirts, near Greensborough.
We had a bobcat earth mover and other gear and unexpectedly we were still unable to move the massive Basalt Boulder.
The rock was well and truly “stuck”in the ground.
Brown snakes are not stupid. They know where to hide and not get caught!
Not all the time, but yes, if any snake knows where to get good real estate to live in, then it’s a Brown Snake.
Brown Snakes are very common across Australia and due to their uninteresting colours and venomous nature are rarely kept as pets, studied or even liked by so-called reptile enthusiasts.
As the world’s leading researcher on these snakes, I have a different view and find them intelligent (by snake standards) and this view is reflected among snakes themselves, with Brown Snakes pushing most other venomous snakes around in the context of who goes where in Victoria.
I few years back I published a ground-breaking paper on social hierarchies in snakes.
As the snake man, in a few weeks I am going to the Gold Coast Queensland to do a snake handling course and no doubt the phones will be ringing hot again for snake calls in Melbourne.
You see the weather is hot and the snake calls come in, whenever I leave my home town.
Usually I spend Christmas at home and this year is no different. With Melbourne anticipating a forecast high of about 30 Degs C, it is likely I’ll have a few snake calls on Christmas day. If I don’t get a snake call out on Christmas day, I feel somewhat ripped-off.
As one who’s been doing snake call outs for decades, it really is a way of life!
As for the Melbourne kids part of things, well my kids have been with me for the last few days catching snakes and when I die, I am sure they will do their bit for wildlife conservation.
That’s when they finally get over those other kids hobbies like paying on skate boards and the new kinds that flex in the middle.
All the best from the snake man