Snakes Alive!

Encountering a curly problem this summer? Maybe Lorna can help!

Words John Westbury, Photos Lorna King

At the time of writing this it is 19°C here on the Mornington Peninsula. It feels more like Spring than Summer. But, while the weather (hopefully) will get warmer it also brings out hidden dangers.

What to do?
Snakes will appear from most anywhere at any time and in some cases the least expected places. As an example while travelling along the NSW coast in October I noted a sign outside a well kept roadside toilet and rest area warning of snakes. The last thing one would want during an urgent stop to the loo is the appearance of a snake.

If you come across a snake while travelling, alert the closest authority and also warn other travellers. If you are at home your local council will provide assistance and put you in touch with their registered snake catcher. I am given to understand that there are not that many registered snake catchers around, and those I have found are usually male. That was until I came across a lovely lady who is a registered snake catcher who lives and works in the East Gippsland area of Victoria.

Snake Tails
Lorna King, who is about to turn 80 is well known around East Gippsland for her expertise in catching snakes of all sizes. She is familiar with all parts of the bush and for over 30 years has been involved as a wildlife carer and rescuer and shows great love and support for injured animals.

When it comes to catching snakes it can sometimes be a little hard. They can be found almost anywhere from underneath caravans, wheel arch or engine compartments in cars, and in garages or sheds on your property. The most recent one Lorna had was a eight foot red belly black which was housed behind a cabinet area of a house in Metung Victoria.

What Happens Next?
Lorna has never been bitten, and when I looked at one of the many videos she has of
her catches, she has all the right equipment and certainly knows what she is doing. Until
recent times she has not charged for getting rid of snakes, but, with increasing costs of registration fees, fuel costs etc, she now has no option but to ask for a very reasonable fee depending on how far she has to travel.

What happens to snakes she catches? I do not know about each individual State or
Territory, but, here in Victoria snakes are protected and you are not allowed to kill them.
Lorna releases all snakes she catches into safe areas away from the public where they
will also have access to food and water. For further information contact Lorna on 0407 174 043 in the Gippsland area of Victoria.

Read more: Mould Begone!