Tasmanian Snakes Slithering Venomously!

copperhead snake
Copperhead moving through the garden

Tasmanian snakes share our land!  We have to understand that although we bought the property, it’s their home… and they were here long before us… or at least, their relatives were.

 

Tasmanian Snakes reside on our Property

We own a 3 acre property in the island state of Tasmania, Australia.  Tasmania contains a lot of snakes, but only three different kind.  All are poisonous!

  1.  Tiger Snake
  2.  Copperhead Snake
  3. White-Lipped Snake

We have been living here for five years, and to date we have come across only three… two Tiger Snakes and one Copperhead.

The first… a Tiger Snake

This snake rates somewhere between 4th & 6th most deadly snake in the world… depending upon which list you read!… and it resides right here on our property!

I came across the first Tiger Snake when I was busy mowing our lawns on the ride-on.  I left the mower not far from our dam as I went back up to the house to have some lunch.  Then, after lunch, was about to climb on to the mower when I saw in front of me the snake.

I couldn’t see it’s head.  It was hiding in a small clump of grass.  The rest of it was hanging out where it was plainly in view.

While I went running up to get my husband, it took the opportunity to move off.  What would he be able to do?  I’m not sure!  Anyway, we watched disappeared under a pile of leaves.

We called the Snake Catcher but because we had left it and taken our eyes off the snake, it was long gone before he arrived.

It was quite obvious this man loved snakes.  He lovingly talked of how to protect them.  He explained how we needed to provide a safe passage for them to cross our property.

As it was near our dam it most probably was on its way to have a drink.  He told us to leave some undergrowth across the back of the property so they could move from one side to the other by keeping out of sight.  We stopped mowing a small section along the back and have become very careful around that area.

Second Tiger Snake

And… it was a dead one!

I entered our chicken shed and was attending to the birds when I went into a part I hadn’t been in for a little while.  There on the floor was a Tiger Snake with its head down a hole!

Initial shock over, I observed its back ripped to shreds.  Now, what would do that?

On closer examination, it was easy to see it was dead.  I got a shovel and lifted it up.  I expected its head to come out of the hole, but instead, it broke off and remained in there.  Yuk!

This told me that the snake had been there for a little while, and somehow I had not noticed it.

My only explanation for what happened to that snake is that my Guinea Fowls had killed it.  They will kill snakes, especially if they come inside a pen.  I believe the snake was trying to escape down the hole but the birds had their way and it died.

This made me super cautious when checking nests etc within the pen.  My eyes do a ‘snake-skim’ every time I enter there, just to make sure there’s none around.

Third Snake was a Copperhead

Tasmanian snakes on our property
This Copperhead close-up is from my garden!

 

My son called me on the mobile to say he just looked out the window and observed a snake making its way across towards my house.  To explain a little here… we have two houses on the one property.  My husband and I live in one, while our son lives in the other.  The two houses are around about 50 metres apart.

So here was this snake making its way towards my house.  I grabbed my phone and went out to see what was going on.  It slithered in under the row of trees that line the driveway between our houses and then made a 90 degree turn and headed down the driveway.  Then I suddenly realised that the snake was heading directly to where I was standing!

Common sense kicked in and I moved away as I continued to watch it make its way to the shed.  I was horrified at the thought of it entering the shed and then I’d have no idea where it was.  Oh, what to do?

Enter the Chickens

At this point in time, along came one of my chickens… just wandering along without a care in the world.  She was heading directly towards the snake!

So here’s me… calling the chicken to come away, and moving my arms wildly at the same time.  The chicken didn’t take too much notice, but on its approach, and I guess because I’m waving my arms, the snake suddenly jumped into the air and did an about-turn.

This frightened the chicken into running off, much to my relief.

The snake decided to follow the concrete of the shed, along the outside, so rather than going inside, it was now moving to the right and along the edge of the shed.  Finally, it rounded the corner and dug its head into some grass.

So, along came another chicken.  This one spied the snake and almost jumped right out of its skin!  She jumped right up in the air!  As she was only about a metre away from the snake, I began waving my arms furiously trying to get her to move away.  Fortunately, common sense kicked in and she went for her life!

Help cometh!

Meanwhile, my son had called his mate to come and help.  Along he came, bearing a shovel over his shoulder. 

“Where’s the snake” he asked?

I pointed to where it was.  You see, I wasn’t going to take my eyes off this one as the Snake Catcher had told me they move off just as soon as you stop looking at them.  So I kept on looking!

I didn’t realise quite was Trent’s mate was going to do, but moments later the snake was dead.  He took it and buried it under a tree. Mind you, he left us with the strictest of instructions not to go anywhere near it.  The instructions included humans, dog and birds.

We secured the area with some wire-netting and rocks before he went on his way.  Apparently snakes can have some kind of ‘knee-jerk’ reaction and can still bite even though they are dead!

 

Have you met up with any snakes where you live?  I’d love to hear your stories.  Please share in the comments.  I guess we have to accept that they are a part of the land, and Tasmanian snakes on the property is to be expected.  

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2 Comments

  1. You’re kidding, you live in Tasmania, Marilyn? I lived there for about 6 years 1982-1988. My daughter was born there. I loved it there. I was an optometrist in Hobart. I’m back in California presently. I bought the practice on 90 Main Road, Moonah (hope I’m recalling correctly). It was very difficult adjusting to California after Tasmania. People were so nice and friendly there. If I can get to use a Medbed, I plan to return some day. I’ve just beaten Alzheimer’s, a 20 year battle but I’m getting a lot better. When I was bad it took me 10 years before I could recall my home address. Thank God I’m past that stage. I used to love to see the snow on Mount Wellington. Blessings to you and your family.

    Dr. Glenn Marks, O.D.

    • How wonderful to hear about your story Glenn. Yes, it’s a pretty laid back life down here in Tassy. We are thankful that we are away from a lot of the carry on that goes on around the world.
      The snow on Mt Wellington is always wonderful to see, and it can happen on any day of the year… as you would well know.
      It’s fantastic to hear that you’ve beaten Alzheimer’s. I’d like to see a lot more of that. It sounds like it’s been a long battle though.
      I trust it won’t be long before you find yourself lying in a Medbed and won’t it be so interesting to see how that will turn out!
      I hope you can return to Tassy… I’m quite sure you would be made more than welcome. Aim for it and trust.

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