News Satire People Food Other

Maroubra Black Snake Outbreak Nothing to Fear

By Marcus Braid on February 11, 2015 in

Photo: Randwick City Council

Photo: Randwick City Council

A Sydney snake catcher has hosed down the need to fear the presence of red-bellied black snakes in the Maroubra area.

Randwick Council has reinforced a message of vigilance in light of the snake sightings in the Maroubra dunes area, but Robert Ambrose from Sydney Snake Catcher said the talk was exaggerated.

“It’s a gross exaggeration,” Mr Ambrose said. “The one thing I would say in all honesty is don’t avoid the footpaths and don’t avoid the bushes. Go in and walk freely. You’ll be perfectly fine.”

Mr Ambrose said the red-belled black snake is very good at staying out of your way.

“There isn’t a single fatality that we can refer to and say that they died from a red-bellied black snake,” he said.

“For that reason, I put them in a category where people should be aware of them, but we don’t have to be that careful really. People don’t get bitten enough to warrant the concern.

“The Eastern Suburbs is a very low risk area. In fact, Maroubra represents very poorly in snake sightings. Nearby, there are snakes that turn up around the headlands, especially around Malabar.”

A spokesperson for Ranwick Council said everyone should be aware of the presence of red-bellied black snakes in the Maroubra dunes.

“Red-bellied black snakes are natural inhabitants of dunes and swamp areas,” the spokesperson said.

“Everyone should be aware and keep children away from these areas when unsupervised.”

The spokesperson confirmed that Maroubra lifeguards are on the lookout for snakes every day, and will cordon off areas where the snakes are seen.

“Only use establish footpaths and tracks; if you see a snake, back away and report it to a lifeguard,” the spokesperson said.

“Red-bellied black snakes tend to be timid and often vibrations from footsteps will scare them away.”

A brown snake was found swimming between the flags onto the sand at One Mile Beach in Forster in early January, an incident that generated widespread media coverage.

“People get concerned about a brown snake on a beach, yet in the ocean there are sea snakes,” Mr Ambrose said.

“It really must be a burden worrying about a brown snake at a beach.”