Snakes alive after flood

WIMMERA residents have sighted snakes in flood-affected areas.

Horsham's John Lattimer said his family saw a brown snake near their Barnes Boulevard home.

"The warning went out in our street and our family was a bit concerned at the sighting. We heard from someone else who had seen a snake the night before in the vicinity of Olympic Street," he said.

Mail-Times journalist Michelle Dryburgh saw snakes at Warracknabeal and Dimboola.

Miss Dryburgh was interviewing a family on the banks of the Wimmera River at Dimboola when a brown snake 'shot' out of the water toward where they were standing.

She said a large snake was also caught near homes along the flooded Yarriambiack Creek during Premier Ted Baillieu's visit on Wednesday.

"People are spending a lot of time around the river and creeks at the moment and the warnings are true, there are a lot of snakes and other reptiles around," she said.

Horsham Rural City Council ranger Nick Meagher said he received two calls reporting snake sightings.

Mr Meagher said people could call the ranger's office on 5382 9767 during work hours or the 24-hour ranger on 0409 944 033 if they found a snake.

"The first reported sighting was at Brighton Drive and the other was at the toilets opposite the caravan park," he said.

"We couldn't find the snake at Brighton Drive when we got there and we didn't catch the one at the toilets.

"It took off and went for a swim."

Mr Meagher said he had also had three calls about a horse on a levee bank in Horsham.

"People keep ringing and complaining that it was distressed, but we couldn't do anything about it," he said.

"We did eventually manage to get in contact with the owner though."

He said the rangers had also dealt with lots of dogs.

"We've had plenty of dogs, but not flood-affected, that we've picked up running around. We'd ask people to keep their dogs locked up and make sure their backyards are secure.

"If they need to they should padlock gates closed to avoid friends letting dogs out.

"It's a $80 pound release fee for a first offence, a $120 pound release fee for a second offence, plus a $179 fine during the day, or a $239 fine at night and it is a $170 pound release fee for a third offence, plus a fine.

"They do get very expensive."