Snakes bite more than a dozen people across Queensland over two days - Think about Snake Safety

More than a dozen people have been treated for snakebites in Queensland in the past two days, with nine victims treated in just 36 hours.

One victim, Bridie Fenech, was not planning on ending her school holidays in a hospital ward.

The 13-year-old was on her family's property at Sarina, south of Mackay, when she was bitten on the foot.

"We were playing spotlight because we had a family barbecue and I found the other team, so I jumped over the fence and I was running towards them," the teenager said.

"I thought I stepped on a thorn, and then I stood back, and I saw it was a snake. I yelled out 'snake' and I ran back home."

How to treat a snake bite

  • Assume all snakes are venomous
  • Call triple-0 immediately
  • Keep calm and restrict any unnecessary movement (this will prevent the venom from spreading)
  • Do not wash around the wound (hospitals may decide to test the venom to assist with accurate snake identification)
  • Use bandages from a first aid kit
  • Start by wrapping over the bite site and then work your way up the limb
  • Use additional bandages to wrap from the extremities (fingers or toes) upward to the bite site
  • Wrap the bandages firmly, like you would for a sprained ankle
  • After bandaging, splint the limb to reduce further movement

(Source: Queensland Ambulance)

The high school student said she still felt shaken up by the ordeal, but had some advice for others.

"Probably use a torch and keep your feet covered," she laughed.

The 13-year-old is expected to be released from hospital later.

Bridie's mother, Brigid, said they were concerned when they heard about the bite.

"We were first of all worried about what type of snake it was, and there's always experts at a barbecue that think they know what it was, but you just can't take a risk," Mrs Fenech said.

"So we got on the phone to triple-0, and they were excellent.

"We had already started wrapping it because we know a little bit and they guided us through the process, and the ambulance was there within 15 minutes."

Mrs Fenech said her three kids now had to wear shoes outside.

"We're on a farm so I don't have much choice. We've already told them all they have to wear shoes," she said.

"I don't know if that's going to happen but we try."

Python swallows two-month-old kitten in Rockhampton

Humans were not the only ones targeted by snakes over the past two days.

Snake catcher Ben Hanson said he got a call from a frantic woman in Rockhampton on Thursday, who watched her two-month-old kitten get eaten by a python.

"One of my technicians went out to get him [the snake]," Mr Hanson said.

"He had to get on top of the A-frame and unwrap him and bring him back through and unfortunately he had eaten the kitten."

Mr Hanson said it was not uncommon for snakes to eat small pets.

"Carpet pythons will eat anything they can get their hands on," he said.

"Usually they eat bats and birds and things like that, but they'll eat cats and they'll eat small dogs. If they get big enough they'll eat little wallabies."

Bryan Fry, from the University of Queensland's school of biological sciences, said the summer heat was flushing snakes out.

"Normally when it gets warm, the snakes will be on the move, but now it's boiling hot in many areas so the snakes will be trying to seek refuge," he said.

Source: ABC News

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