By BEV JORDAN
The Cade family has been very busy in the past few days catching snakes from North Richmond to Dural and beyond.
Sean Cade set up Australian Snake Catchers with his wife Freya 20 years ago and they have never been busier.
On the long weekend, they dealt with 25 calls outs including twice to The Ponds Basketball court, at Jonas Bradley Oval, where a red-bellied black snake (Pseudechis porphyriacus) and a female Eastern brown snake (Pseudonaja textilis) were curled up in concrete blocks near the courts.
further.“We were working with the council (Blacktown Council) at The Ponds,” said Sean. “The building works down there is disturbing (the snakes).” Other collections during the week included a large female red-bellied black snake found in the pillar housing the mechanism for a Dural property’s automatic gates which prevented the repairman from going any further.
There was a snake recovered from a spa in Windsor, one under a bin in North Richmond, one from a dog’s kennel in Pitt Town and one from a swimming pool in Castle Hill.
“It’s breeding season,” said Sean. He said Lockdown meant that people were encountering more snakes simply because they were at home a lot more during the day and also walking more.
His advice is “Look down when you are walking, just be aware of the potential for snakes and leave them alone. Snakes are not aggressive. They will just defend themselves. ”
He said people who found them in their yard or home should keep children and pets away and call for professional help. Some people confused snake with other reptiles.
“If you are not sure, send us a photo.” He urged people not to try and kill the snake. “90% of snake bites happen because someone tries to catch a snake or kill it.” If a pet had a snake the best way to deal with it was to hose down the dog and snake rather than try and remove the dog. “If you put your hand down, the snake doesn’t know you are trying to rescue the dog.”
He said snake were an important part of the ecosystem and vermin control. When caught, they are released back into the bush. He has been catching snakes for 25 years, now he and Freya have been joined by their 20-year old son Liam.
“My son has been coming with me since he was really little and knows a lot about snakes. We are trying to get as much education information out there as we can to dilute the fear people have of snakes.”
He recommended the Snake Bite Kit sold by the Hawkesbury Visitor’s Centre. To follow his work visit the Australian Snake Catchers Facebook Page