Contributed

Surprise! Snakes make their move early on the Coast

SNAKES alive - and yes, they are. The scaly creatures have woken early from their winter slumber.

Business is booming early for snake catcher Mark Neath, who is already dealing with about two requests a day for his skills.

The snake season doesn't normally pick up until later in the month, but Mr Neath said the warmer weather had contributed to an early start.

A 14-year-old Coolum girl was taken to Nambour General Hospital on Monday night after being bitten by a snake.

A hospital spokeswoman said the girl had been bitten by her pet python and discharged later that night.

Mr Neath was called out to a Noosaville residential property yesterday to try to track a highly venomous red-bellied black snake.

He wasn't successful, but is "expecting a run on black snakes at the moment".

"When the temperatures are above 23 degrees, that's when the snakes start coming out," Mr Neath said.

Kirk and Katrina Vagg also have been spotting a few more snakes around their Maleny acreage in the past two weeks.

While taking their five-month-old, Judah, for a walk in Nambour last week, they spotted a carpet python (pictured) hanging from a tree.

The snake didn't worry Mrs Vagg, who used to catch the reptiles in her childhood.

"Pythons are just big, friendly giants," she said.

A Ninderry resident also found a 3m long scrub python near her house earlier in the week.

It turned out the snake was "only a baby" - the scrub python, Australia's largest snake, can grow as long as 8.5m.

The good news, Mr Neath said, is that the vast majority of snakes on the Sunshine Coast are not dangerous.

WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU SEE A SNAKE

Don't panic. Move away and call a snake catcher

If you are close and the snake is in defensive mode, stand still and slowly back away if possible

If you do get bitten, apply a pressure bandage and mark the spot while getting someone to call an ambulance

Lie down and try to remain calm

Don't try to identify the snake as "venom-detection kits" advise what anti-venom to use

Contact snake catcher Mark Neath on 0432 465156


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