Snakes Harmful and Harmless®


Some children from Newman Junior College get to know a couple of friendly black-headed pythons (Aspidites melanocephalus) during a SNAKES Harmful & Harmless visit on 13 May 1997.
Photograph courtesy Newman Junior College, Perth, Western Australia. Thanks also to Lydia Evens of that school for transferring image to disk.
Snakes are an integral part of the Australian bush. They are considered by many to be an unnecessary evil. However this is a misconception. Snakes as predators play an important role in the control of other animals. In many cases these other animals are exotic vermin such as rats and mice. Snakes pose little threat to sensible people. If sighted in a backyard and left alone they will usually move away. If pressured and retreat is blocked by fences and walls the snake may panic and feel threatened. Even at this stage the snake is reluctant to bite unless physically contacted. Many bites do occur however when the victim attempts to kill a snake.

The most likely backyards where snakes occur, are those with old junk stored directly on the ground providing ideal shelter. Junk is best stored off the ground. Bird aviaries and chicken yards encourage mice which in turn attract snakes.

There are few people available to come and remove snakes. Some pest control companies will attend for a fee. Western Australia's wildlife authority, Department of Parks ands Wildlife (DPaW) is reluctant to send an officer but will provide telephone numbers of registered snakecatchers.

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