Large goanna found at Rupanyup, reptiles out for summer | PHOTOS

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A RUPANYUP snake catcher is urging Wimmera residents to keep an eye out for reptiles as they emerge from hibernation during summer.

Eastern brown snakes are being reported in backyards, with one six-foot long snake found at Rupanyup.

Meanwhile a number of reptiles have been hit by cars on the roads, with a seven-foot goanna becoming roadkill recently.

Snake catcher Dale Maggs said eastern brown snakes were out in numbers in backyards and could be very aggressive.

“I have had two in my backyard over the past couple of weeks and I picked one up on Tuesday night which was six-foot in length and very angry,” he said.

“Even the other day, the car in front of me bowled over a big goanna which must have been out for a lazy day in the sun.”

People with chicken coops in their yards and a good water source should keep an eye out for snakes.

Mr Maggs said snakes also like long grass, logs or sheets of tin during summer.

“The extended heat period means they are getting out and searching for water in people’s yards,” he said.

“They are looking for meals because with the cropping there are some mice and frogs getting disturbed.

“Because of the heat they are getting out on the roads or onto prominent spots in the backyard.”

When it comes to encountering reptiles in the backyard, he said it was better to leave them alone, especially in warm temperatures when they are aggressive and can strike from up to two metres.

“The best thing you can do is keep your grass short and take away any excess water you are not using,” he said.

“Maintain your yard so you can pick up old branches, refuse or tin they might like to lay under.”

Mr Maggs releases any snakes he catches back into the bush so they are not harmed.

He learnt the craft from his father and now the talent is being passed onto a third generation with his daughter Taylor taking a keen interest in catching reptiles.

“Taylor loves coming out and helping release snakes into the bush,” he said.

“She knows they are deadly and treats them with a lot of caution.”

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