THE City of Canning has warned the public not to approach snakes following the deaths of two dogs bitten by tiger snakes in Riverton.
According to a post on the Riverton Community Facebook page, a red healer and a beagle were killed after a tiger snake bit them on separate occasions near the bridge at Bannister Creek in Riverton last week.
Canning is home to a number of different native snake species, the most common are tiger snakes and dugites.
A spokesman from the City said snakes formed an important part of the natural environment and provided an indication that an ecosystem is in a healthy condition.
“It is common for snakes to become more active as the warmer spring weather approaches, but they should not be feared; just treated with caution,” he said.
“If you encounter a snake it is important to give it space and not approach or aggravate it in any way. It should slide away if you remain still and observe from afar as it is more fearful than you are.”
Snakes are protected species in Western Australia and it is an offence to kill a snake under the Wildlife Conservation Act 1950.
Bush walkers are advised to leave snakes alone if they are observed in natural bushland or wetland areas away from recreational spaces such as footpaths or parks.
“However, if a snake is sighted in a public space, garden, or house and it doesn’t move to a safer location, you should take an alternate route and consider the options (available),” the spokesman said.
If you see a snake:
Snakes spotted in recreational spaces:
The community can request a licensed City officer to remove and relocate the snake to a safer area by calling the City on 1300 422 664. It is advisable for dogs to remain on leads to avoid being bitten.
Snakes in private gardens or residences:
The community can contact the Wildcare Helpline on 9474 9055 for advice or to be referred to a volunteer reptile removalist.
The City is not legally permitted to remove wildlife or undertake pest control activities on private properties or land that is not vested with the City.
If the community believes that snakes are becoming more prevalent in a particular area, residents can request the installation of a snake sign to make the community more aware of the risk. These signs are already installed in snake hotspots around the City.
Most snakebites occur when people accidentally step on them, or when they are attempting to kill them. Snakes are protected species in Western Australia and it is an offence to kill a snake under the Wildlife Conservation Act 1950