Snakes are some of the most feared creatures in the country and out of the 27 species that live in the Brisbane area a few are dangerous to humans. If bitten by a snake you shouldn’t delay in getting immediate medical assistance, as never assume it isn’t venomous. Since anti-venom has come on the scene actual deaths from snake bites are rare but according to statistics they do occur at the rate of 4 and 6 deaths per year.
Here are the venomous snakes found in Brisbane, what they look like and where they live:
1. Eastern Brown Snake (aka common brown snake)
The eastern brown snake is bad tempered, highly venomous and will rise into an S-shape and strike if cornered. It grows to an average length of 1.5 metres and varies widely in colour from light tan to almost black with a cream/orange belly. It feeds on birds, frogs, mammals and reptiles.
Habitat: Bushland and rural areas of greater Brisbane.
2. Rough-scaled Snake
Growing up to 1 metre in length, the rough-scaled snake is venomous and potentially dangerous to humans. It is identified by its olive/greyish back with a number of raised lines covering its back and sides. It has a greenish/grey belly. Typical prey includes small mammals, frogs, birds and reptiles.
Habitat: Hinterland areas of Brisbane.
3. Yellow-faced Whip Snake
Large specimens of this snake are very dangerous and have a venomous bite. As its name suggests, it is recognised by a yellow strip around the front of the nose and has a black comma-shape around the eye. Yellow-face whip snakes grow on average to just under 1 metre and are very fast-moving.
Habitat: Found throughout Brisbane.
What to do if you encounter a snake
- Never touch a snake unless you know what you’re doing
- Never assume it’s non-venomous
- Stand still and don’t make any sudden movements
- Don’t try and corner a snake as it will feel threatened
- Make sure the snake has an escape route
- Treat the snake with respect and use common sense.
What to do if you or a mate is bitten by a snake
- Don’t wash the bite or try to suck the venom out
- Apply a pressure immobilisation bandage immediately
- Bandage the limb firmly but don’t cut off blood flow
- Keep still and avoid movement
- Send someone for help.