Winter’s over, snakes on the roads!
With temperatures set to hit 29C on Tuesday it seems spring is determined to make us well aware of its arrival. This stretch of sun and warmth is predicted to go for over a week and with things heating up so are the creatures! The carpet pythons in particular, will be out and about hunting, putting on weight for the upcoming romantic season. Even these cold tolerant snakes are generally less active throughout much of winter, but with the first touch of spring warmth they are on the move looking for food, so its about this time of year that I start keeping a much closer eye on the road and road-edge, particularly around less developed areas and particularly in the afternoon and mid-morning.
Much of our wildlife injuries on the roads are avoidable with a bit of extra caution and simple awareness. That being said, if you do see an injured snake (or any other fauna for that matter!), do like the absolute-super-champ Garry from Anstead and get a hold of a professional. We were happy to respond to this call for a python in his yard who he believed had been hit by a small car. Luckily the strike was right at the tail-end of this poor carpet python, however the damage wan’t too severe. After consultation at a nearby vet surgery, a quick clean up, and a shot of antibiotics, he was released into our care. As the injury is just near the cloaca, the vet suggested we going to keep him in our rehab enclosure for a few weeks and monitor his next bowel movement to make sure he can pass food without bleeding, hoping that lower intestine isn’t damaged beyond healing. We’ll also be cleaning the minor tissue and scale damage, and administering antibiotics periodically before bringing him back up to release weight. Fingers crossed, but lucky for this guy the injury was minor. Many of our native species, from Koalas to lizards, are not so lucky and suffer a huge mortality rate from roads. So keep your eyes peeled out there, and remember that while wildlife doesn’t know how to use a zebra crossing, it sure is prettier when its alive and healthy!