Sunday, 31 January 2016

Residents of Australian state warned of snakes in "plague proportions"- via Herp Digest

Xinhua   1/21/16- MELBOURNE,  -- The authorities have urged residents in the Australian state of Victoria, especially those living in country areas, to be on high alert following a string of recent snake attacks across the state.

The warning comes after at least three people were hospitalized and three dogs were killed by suspected snake bites around Victoria over the past fortnight.

One snake catcher told Melbourne radio station 3AW on Thursday that conditions were ideal for snakes this summer and the growing urban sprawl meant this would be an ongoing problem for people living in the outer suburbs.

A man aged in his 20s was hospitalized on Wednesday night after being bitten by a snake near Seymour, north of Melbourne, and a Kyabram resident, also in the state's north, suffered a suspected snake bite early on Thursday morning.

After spending three days in Dandenong Hospital, Barbara McDougall, who was bitten at her home south-east of Melbourne, told the local newspaper she had been badly shaken following her ordeal.

"It was absolutely terrifying," McDougall told the Cranbourne Leader on Thursday.

"I was putting my rubbish out when a one-metre long tiger snake grabbed my leg and wouldn't let go. I was screaming and shaking my leg as hard as I could until I finally got it off."

McDougall said three dogs in the neighbouring area had been killed in similar incidents over the past two weeks. She said she had never known a snake season as bad as the current one and that the state could be headed for a plague.

"From what I've heard, they're in plague proportions in this area," McDougall said.

Wildlife authorities in Victoria were moved on Thursday to issue the following tips to anyone helping a snake bite victim: ask the patient not to move, apply a broad crepe bandage over bite, seek medical help quickly, do not wash venom off skin or cut bitten areas, do not try to suck venom out of wound or use a tourniquet and do not try to catch the snake. 

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