3 February 2012
By KATE CLIFFORD
HUNDREDS of snakes have been removed from Sunshine Coast homes so far this year.
Australia Zoo Rescue Unit has been inundated with calls from residents concerned by potentially deadly reptiles in their backyards, garages and garden sheds.
Around five call-outs a day were made to the rescue unit last month and more than 160 snakes removed.
Kate Coulter. an Australia Zoo reptile rescue officer, said the recent rain and humid temperature were the perfect conditions for Sunshine Coast residents to find snakes in their yards.
"Two heavy wet seasons have resulted in high levels of vegetation growth and wildlife breeding, meaning there’s plenty of food for snakes to eat, as well as long grass to hide amongst," Ms Coulter said.
"The wet weather drives snakes into areas like garden sheds and garages where they can escape the rain and have a handy food source of mice and rats." Non-venomous carpet pythons made up the majority of snakes caught, although venomous brown snakes were also in high numbers.
"The majority of reported snake sightings are in suburban backyards with most calls to the rescue unit coming from residents located around the Buderim area," Ms Coulter said.
"As snakes are cold-blooded creatures, they generally do come out more in the warmer months of summer." All snakes caught were treated for any injuries and released back to the wild.
"If the snake looks sick or injured it is immediately transferred to the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital for treatment," Ms Coulter said.
"When the snake is ready for release back to the wild, a suitable relocation area is found." She said a similar number of snakes was retrieved last year.