Snake hitches ride under car, amid 'peak hour' for Tasmanian reptile catchers

| 09.01,19. 03:00 AM |

Snake hitches ride under car, amid 'peak hour' for Tasmanian reptile catchers

A snake handler comes to the rescue of a woman whose ute had an unwanted passenger. (ABC News)

Photo: Tasmania's three snake species are all venomous. (ABC News: Fred Hooper)

Madi Stoye had no idea a snake had made a home in her friend's car.

Her friend had been down at a beach earlier in the day, where it's assumed the snake decided to take refuge from the harsh summer sun by sliding underneath the car.

It wasn't until the two friends were parked in a shopping centre later that day, that they were made aware of their "passenger".

"Some guy pulled over and said there's a snake under our tire," she said.

The friends initially thought it was a joke, but decided to check anyway.

"We pulled the car over to the side and rang the reptile guy and he came and pulled a snake out. It was quite scary."

Tasmania's three species of snake — tiger, white-lipped and copperhead — are all venomous.

Snake catchers in Tasmania are being bombarded with call-outs, as people stumble across the venomous reptiles in bedrooms, backyards and hitching rides under cars.

Reptile Rescue said its rangers had received 75 callouts in the past two days.

Reptile rescuer Chris Daly said snakes are known to be chronic sunbakers, but they also look to escape the heat.

"A lot of people think 30 degrees, you're going to get a lot of snakes. That's not the case," he said.

"You'll get a lot of snakes earlier in the day, until the heat."

He said snakes bunker down in the hottest part of the day and re-emerge at the end.

He has found snakes in some pretty strange places.

"I've found them in toilets after people have used the toilet, we had a snake at the hospital," he said.

"It doesn't surprise me anymore, we've had that many snakes in that many different spots."

Snake expert Simon Fearne said it was not uncommon for snakes to take accidental trips.

"Surprisingly enough quite a lot of snakes get carted around in loads of firewood," he said.

"Snakes get up under cars and get carted around and end up in cities. So that's why you sometimes get large snakes turning up in the middle of cities. "

While Summer may be the season for snakes, it's not a reason to be fearful.

Mr Daly said 90 per cent of the time people are bitten when they are trying to capture or kill a snake.

"Obviously people trying to kill snakes, you put yourself in danger, being in that vicinity," he said.

"You're better off just calling in a professional and getting them moved, then they can carry on with their life and you can carry on with yours."

He asked people to remember they are dealing with an animal.

"If somebody was doing a similar thing to a dog, there'd be a lot of trouble. With snakes, because they're venomous, they're pushed to the side a bit."

"They still have feelings, they hurt like the rest of them."


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