DELWP has cautioned members of the public not to illegally kill snakes after receiving a number of reports of individuals intentionally killing snakes that pose no threat to their safety.
The department said snakes played an important role in the ecosystem and were protected under the Wildlife Act 1975 — making it illegal to capture, harm or kill them.
Reports of people wilfully destroying protected wildlife will be investigated accordingly.
‘‘Most snake bites are received by people who try to capture or kill a snake,’’ Hume Region Resource Protection and Management project manager Emily Davies said.
‘‘Snakes usually prefer to retreat when encountered, but can become defensive if threatened.
‘‘Being aware that snakes may be around, and being informed about how to react to them, are the most important aspects of managing snakes.’’
Tips for those who live in an area with snakes
■When left alone, snakes present little or no danger to people.
■If you see a snake, keep calm and move yourself and anyone with you (including pets) away from the area.
■Don’t attempt to capture or harm snakes. Instead, call DELWP for further advice, or call a licensed snake catcher.
■Maintain lawns and clean up around your house, as snakes are attracted to shelter such as piles of rocks and timber, sheets of metal, and building materials.
■Undertake first aid training and ensure your first aid kit contains several compression bandages. If someone is bitten, phone 000 immediately.