Snakes moving in on homes

THE world's fourth-deadliest snake appears to becoming more common around Launceston homes.

Tasmanian Reptile Relocations and Training owner Darren Cameron has captured six lethal tiger snakes in and around Launceston homes  in the past three weeks - including a 1.5 metre, two kilogram snake at Prospect last week.

``Launceston is predominately copperhead territory and now we are starting to get the tiger snakes in, which are a lot more deadly,'' Mr Cameron said.

He said he had caught six tiger snakes in 12 years until last month but had caught another caught six just in the past three weeks.

``The ones I have caught are all big too - they're not small at all,'' he said.

The said he was unsure why tiger snakes were more common this year in the North.

``Whether the dryness is starting to move them into suburban areas, or the fact people are building further out,'' he said.

``People need to be more vigilant especially with the large tigers hanging around Launceston at the moment.''

Mr Cameron has been asked to collect snakes from homes in Prospect, Riverside and Exeter - with most of them being found near water.

Reptile Rescue state co-ordinator Chris Daly said the organisation had received 230 call-outs in Northern Tasmania since snakes became more active in late-September.

``The North, for the first time in probably a long time, is definitely in front of the South at the moment in terms of call-outs,'' Mr Daly said.

``The season is just starting to warm up now - today we have had 20 calls statewide - mainly because we are starting to come into breeding season, plus a bit of good weather.

``The most common are copperheads in the North and in the South are the tiger snakes.''

Mr Daly said he expected the snake season to extend into March and April this year.

A Parks and Wildlife spokesman yesterday advised anyone that encountered a snake in the bush or backyard to avoid it if possible and call a handler.

``Snake bites often occur when people untrained in reptile handling try to take matters into their own hands and attempt to capture or kill the snake,'' he said.

All three Tasmanian snake species are protected in Tasmania and therefore it is illegal to kill them.

If you need help with an unwanted reptile visitor, call Reptile Rescue on 0407 565 181 or Tasmanian Reptile Relocations and Training on 0429 430 009.

Darren Cameron with the 1.5-metre tiger snake he caught at Prospect this week.  Picture: PAUL SCAMBLER

Darren Cameron with the 1.5-metre tiger snake he caught at Prospect this week. Picture: PAUL SCAMBLER


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