SNAKES are on the move and beachgoers on Town Beach have already had an early surprise.
Nadia Rosen and Brad Lander, new to Port Macquarie from Alice Springs where they worked as snake catchers and educators for almost a decade, were called to action this week.
The family were having photos taken on Town Beach when Nadia’s daughter and nephew spotted the slithery surprise.
“We couldn’t see anything when we had a look and then 10 minutes later it came out on to the beach and we could see everyone running away from it,” Nadia said.
“Brad got his snake gear out of the back of the car and bagged it.”
It was an Eastern brown snake, according to Nadia, the second most venomous species in the world, but not likely to go out of its way to attack a human.
“People need to realise that snakes are not aggressive. They act defensively. If you try and catch it, it will try to defend itself. They are very scared of us,” Nadia explained.
Their assistance didn’t end there.
Shortly after the small snake was placed in the bag, a much larger brown snake, estimated to be 1.5m in length, emerged from the grass and on to the footpath.
Both snakes were captured and taken to Billabong Zoo where reptile expert Stuart Johnston conducted an assessment.
”The number one rule is to just stay away from them. Don’t approach a snake and just be aware that they are there, that’s where they live,” Nadia added.
Beachgoers are urged to heed warning signs on Town Beach and be mindful of where they are stepping, particularly if not wearing shoes, and to avoid grassy areas.
And if your dog comes face to face with a reptile, ensure it remains on a lead.
The combination of warmer days as well as the active mating cycle means that an influx of snakes is expected at this time of the year and into summer.
It is important to be aware of high-risk snake areas around the house including underneath wheelie bins, logs and rocks.
A snake will give many warning signs that it is not happy, often by flattening out the neck, moving about erratically and releasing a musky scent.
On the Mid North Coast there are 23 different species of snakes, with the most common being the brown snake and the red-bellied black snakes - both of which are venomous.