Southern Downs Regional Council staff learn what to do when they come into contact with a snake.
Southern Downs Regional Council staff learn what to do when they come into contact with a snake. Contributed

Family's second snake encounter

RACING back home on the four-wheeler, with her injured son on the back, Rosalie Millar's heart was in her mouth.

Merely two months after her sister Narelle Pails passed away after being bitten by a snake, Mrs Millar received a terrifying shock when her son was bitten.

The family was out mustering on their Millmerran property when a brown-coloured snake turned on 14-year-old Lachlan.

Despite the family's tragedy when they lost their loved one Narelle, Mrs Millar said Lachlan was surprisingly "cool, calm and collected" throughout the frightening ordeal.

"He doesn't know whether he ran over the (snake's) tail or whether it was the 300 head of cattle in front that stirred it up," Mrs Millar said.

"It was light brown in colour but it doesn't really determine that it was a brown snake. He was just fortunate it didn't leave any venom."

The snake made one puncture wound and no venom was found in Lachlan's system.

His family took no chances when it happened though, with Mrs Millar phoning triple zero as soon as she got back to their home.

"I applied first aid and waited for them to turn up," she said.

"We live 35km out of town, so that's probably why I called triple zero. I didn't want to waste time."

Since her sister was fatally bitten in November, Mrs Millar said the community had been made much more aware of the dangers.

"We're very cautious of them and not so complacent. We're in their territory," she said.

Now more then ever residents are urged to be vigilant when outside, with snakes on the move looking for mates.

At least one other rural Warwick resident is understood to have been bitten by a snake during the past fortnight.

The man was said to be putting down irrigation pipes on his property when he came into contact with a snake.

Council hasn't taken any chances this snake season either, and last month held a training day for all employees on what to do when they encountered a snake.

"Council is concerned about the safety of its field workers who are the most likely of our staff to come across dangerous reptiles in their line of work," a spokeswoman said.

A Warwick Hospital spokeswoman said they had experienced "a bit of a run" last month with snake bite victims, but things had quietened down.

She said the hospital was always "pre-prepared" come snake season.

If you are bitten by a snake, call triple zero before applying a bandage (but don't block circulation) and immobilise the limb with a splint.

More information on snakes can be found at www.derm.qld.gov.au.


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