by Bill North
A DEADLY brown snake discovered in the Grafton Bridge Project precinct has served as a timely reminder to be careful about what could be lurking in the grass as temperatures soar across the Clarence Valley this week.
WIRES snake catcher Paul Jones was called to catch the Clarence River brown snake, commonly known as a rough-scaled snake (tropidechis carinatus), yesterday morning.
"They're common around here but thank goodness are secretive and you don't see them very often," Mr Jones said when he presented the snake at The Daily Examiner office. If they bite cattle and dogs they don't have much chance I'm afraid.
"I had trouble catching him. We had to whipper-snip the grass to chase him out. Now I'll let him go in a safe place with a bit of water where he can catch frogs and stuff like that."
Coinciding with the record September heat, Mr Jones said now was the time to be mindful of snakes.
"Snakes are ectothermic," he said. "They cool down in the winter, and when they cool down they can't digest the food so they don't need to eat much.
"Now it's warming up, out they come looking for food and the trouble is we get in their road.
"So beware of them and call the right people once they reach the house or something like that."
The Clarence River brown snake is highly venomous and Mr Jones advised people should report them to WIRES to be safely removed from properties.
On the other hand he said black snakes do not present the same danger to humans.
"Black snakes love us because we have nice gardens," he said.
"The trouble with black snakes is that if you do gardening they see you and get used to you, but you don't see them to get used to them. If you put your foot on them it upsets them and they get a hell of a fright.
"So just be careful. But if you've got them in the garden, leave them in the garden, they're good."
If you see a snake, keep your distance and phone WIRES Wildlife Rescue on 13000 WIRES (1300 094 737).