Nanneella’s Liz Williams said before January 12, she had only seen one snake this summer.
But that day she witnessed a fight to the death between an eastern brown snake and a tiger snake in her backyard.
Ms Williams said not only did the snakes fight, once the brown had killed the tiger it proceeded to eat it.
‘‘It was amazing. I didn’t even know they would fight like that, let alone eat one another,’’ Ms Williams said.
‘‘My niece posted some video of the event and I learnt there was a real contrast in people’s reactions — from fascination to fear,’’ she said.
‘‘Half the people who saw our post said they would not be visiting us again.’’
Ms Williams said there was plenty of water — and frogs — on their property near Rochester, which appealed to the snakes but also meant they left people alone.
‘‘I would not usually call a snake catcher for a snake sighting but Merrigum’s Craig Bergman came and when he arrived said he hadn’t seen that before in 20 years in his line of business.
‘‘I had assumed the tiger should have won but Craig told me the brown will always come out on top.
‘‘As the brownie hadn’t finished his meal, Craig very carefully and slowly lifted them into his bag.’’
Mr Bergman rang later to report with only a few centimetres to go, the brown snake must have decided the meal was too big and regurgitated it.
He said the eastern brown was about 125cm long and the tiger about 100cm.
With the snake video on everyone’s minds, Mr Bergman said it was a timely reminder for people to remain calm if they spotted a snake.
Servicing areas as far as Benalla, Wangaratta and Nagambie, to Seymour and Echuca, in the past week he has removed snakes from homes, front yards and even bird aviaries.
Mr Bergman said there had been an increase in snake numbers due to the number of rodents around, a result of the flooding last month.
He said despite the weather heating up significantly, snakes were more likely to appear on milder days and were more active at night.
‘‘Generally what I suggest is if someone comes really close to one, just stand still and don’t move at all, especially in they’re in a strike position.
‘‘If you move, they’re going to go for you, but if you act like a tree they’ll settle down, drop down and go on their way.
‘‘They’ll try more to get away from you than they will to bite, and generally you’ve got to be really aggressive towards a snake for it to strike.’’
■See the video at: www.countrynews.com.au