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Snake season hits as warmer weather approaches

This week’s welcome change in weather has resulted in the less welcome return of some of Australia’s most deadly species.

But according to Perth Hills Reptile Recovery co-founder Adam Firstenberg, snakes and other reptiles aren’t all bad news.

“They’re severely, severely misunderstood – they’re beautiful animals,” Mr Firstenberg said.

“The start of spring is when all of the snakes come out of brumation and they’re now looking for mates and food in the warm weather.”

With not everyone having the same calm and experienced approach as Adam, the Bickley resident is often called to the rescue, especially at this time of year.

“When it really ramps up we’ll have six to ten calls a weekend, typically we’re busier on weekends because more people are home and they see the snakes,” Mr Firstenberg said.

“We’ve had five calls since I left work on Friday afternoon. I caught two dugites on Friday evening, my partner (Lisa) caught a dugite on Sunday, I caught a lizard on Sunday and I caught another dugite on Monday night after work.”

Snake handler Adam Firstenberg with an adult dugite snake.Snake handler Adam Firstenberg with an adult dugite snake.
Camera IconSnake handler Adam Firstenberg with an adult dugite snake.Picture: Sharon Smith

Operating on a service fee of a donation, both Adam and Lisa hold down full-time jobs to make ends meet, but say the ultimate prize is the reward.

“The money isn’t the first and foremost thing for us. We do the right thing for the snake, which would otherwise die – we save the snake and we save the person,” Mr Firstenberg explained.

More than 80 per cent of snake bites come as a result of people trying to kill a snake, and to avoid contributing to that statistic, Adam has a simple set of instructions.

“If you see a snake, whether it’s in the wild or in your house, you stop dead still because they actually react to the movement. So stop, stand still, keep an eye on it, slowly back away from it if you need to, and grab a phone and call someone.”

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