Eastern Brown snake trapped in fruit netting

Tree netting is a popular way to protect fruit from wildlife, particularly in urban areas, but the wrong type of netting can be deadly.
It is distressing to find an animal trapped, they suffer constriction, have cuts to their bodies where they have struggled to free themselves, they become dehydrated and slowly starve to death if not rescued in time. The rescue statistics show that most animals die with horrific injuries or require long term care before release.

This Eastern Brown snake was rescued yesterday after being found tangled in bird netting. Rescuing snakes trapped in netting usually require more than one reptile handler as the job can be dangerous to say the least. WIRES volunteers Marion and Simon responded to the call, and even though both are trained snake handlers this rescue required some very careful handling.

Marion and Simon managed to free the snake, it was found in time, before serious damage had been caused and after being examined it was released.
NEVER try to free a snake trapped or entangled in netting unless you are trained to do so, please call WIRES or your nearest wildlife organisation immediately for assistance and advice.

 

Unfortunately bird netting is readily available through hardware stores, nurseries, produce stores and cheap outlets. These deadly products, usually lack any labeling for their correct use and potential danger to wildlife.
 
WE ONLY RECOMMEND NETS THAT PASS THE ‘FINGER TEST’ in other words you CANNOT poke your finger through.
Wildlife friendly netting should have a mesh size of less than 5 mm.
 
NEVER try to free a snake trapped or entangled in netting unless you are trained to do so, please call WIRES or your nearest wildlife organisation immediately for assistance and advice.
 
Did you know that you have a high risk of being bitten by a snake entangled in netting? Instead of being able to move away freely as the snake normally would, it is restrained and intimidated to a point where an unsuspecting person could easily walk past it and be bitten. We ask everyone to be diligent about the responsible removal of unused or unnecessary netting from around their property, and please urge others to do likewise.
 
Thank you to the member of public that called WIRES, your quick action saved this snake from prolonged suffering.
 
Picture by Marion Nel

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