A NORMALLY quiet time of year has proven very busy for a Central West snake catcher, and there are three very good reasons why.
Orange Snake Service’s Jake Hansen spends his time travelling the region to remove snakes that slither into unusual places.
Barely halfway through April, Mr Hansen has already caught more snakes than he normally does across the entire month.
“For what is commonly a very quiet time of year, as cooler temperatures set in and snake activity is low, it was a very unseasonably busy time,” he said.
“In about a week and a half we had as many snakes as we had for all April last year.”
When asked about the cause of the increased sightings, he said there were “a couple of factors at play”.
The major one is the weather, which has been a lot hotter than the Central West has become used to in April.
In Bathurst alone, the temperatures have regularly been around 30 degrees.
Being cold-blooded, snakes enjoy the warm weather and as a result have been more active.
Secondly, the warm weather has encouraged people to spend more time outdoors.
There aren’t more snakes around, Mr Hansen said, but rather people are actually noticing them because they are outside more often.
“Snake numbers aren’t increasing, if anything, the snake populations are decreasing,” he said.
The final factor at play is community awareness about the removal snakes.
“I think with social media there is a lot more awareness out there about what snake catchers do so they are calling them instead of putting themselves at risk,” Mr Hansen said.
Recently, Mr Hansen has been called to remove tiger snakes, highland copperheads and red belly black snakes, along with the occasional eastern brown.
Mr Hansen has also removed a few baby snakes, which would have been born sometime during January, February and March.
“The vast majority of calls for me are to the houses on the fringe of urban areas, especially in the new developments,” he said.
Most snakes have been outdoors, but there were a couple spotted in houses, which is common in really hot weather as snakes try to escape the heat.
Mr Hansen said snakes generally aren’t a threat, but they do become aggressive when approached.
For this reason, he said the average person shouldn’t try to remove a snake.
“In the latest study into snake bites in Australia, there is quite a few people being bitten that have tried to catch the snake themselves,” Mr Hansen said.
“Certainly you’re putting yourself at great risk.
“My suggestion is to leave it alone or call someone with experience in catching snakes.”
Mr Hansen can be contacted on 0414 945 124 to remove a snake.