Home is where your heart is and mine is right here in Tasmania, Australia. I love this beautiful island continent and this beautiful island state. There is no place like home! I love all our unique flora and fauna; even the slithery scaly kind has a home here and is a much needed part of our ecosystem.
The first Australians, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people talk about The Dreamtime. The Dreamtime is an explanation of creation as well as the code of how to live and survive in the harshness of our land. One of the stories is the Story of The Rainbow Serpent; it’s told by a number of different Aboriginal peoples.
Snakes are very much a part of the culture and landscape of Australia.
In Tasmania we have three types of snake and all are deadly. Snakes are shy creatures though, they don’t set out to bite people, they would rather slither away than have an encounter with a scary member of human kind. Their venom is used to secure their dinner rather than to hurt people (it stuns their prey and immobilises them). Snakes in Tasmania don’t inject their venom, rather it runs down their fangs into the puncture that the fangs created.
There have been no recorded deaths by snake bite in Tasmania for decades!
This summer I’ve seen two snakes and I live out in the country where there is plenty of snake habitat – they really are shy slithery things. Both sightings were of deceased snakes who sadly ventured out onto the road and met their demise. I haven’t seen any live ones (in seven years of being on the farm I’ve seen one live snake and he was hurriedly trying to get out of my way and hide in the bushes). But this doesn’t mean that I’m not prepared for a snake encounter when I’m running.
This is what I would do: Always carry a phone and either go with a friend or let someone know where I’m going – the exact route. If a snake bite did occur I’d follow these three steps:
- DO NOT panic. Stay calm.
- Quickly use my running top as a compression bandage.
- Call 000 for help (triple zero is our emergency number in Australia).
As long as a snake bite victim is kept calm and still and a good compression bandage is applied they can survive a snake bite. If I was with someone who’d been bitten I would take note of the snake (a description) and record the time of the bite – this will help with treatment.
There is no need to be afraid when going into the beautiful Australian bush. There is a need to be aware and to have a plan. When I was checking up on my facts to write this post one web site stated:
you are far more likey to be killed by your spouse than to succumb to snake bite!
Please don’t rely on my word about snake bite first aid in Tasmania. Here is a website to check out for yourself: Living with Snakes
There you have it. Snakes are part of our culture and our landscape. For the Indigenous People of Australia a Snake explains creation. Snakes help to control nasty introduced pests and keep our unique Australian wild life safe from these invaders. Snakes can pop up anywhere but they rarely do – they don’t like us as much as we don’t like them. You are more likely to see an Unsporty Woman running up a hill than a snake… some might say that she is as mad as a cut snake and she most probably is!
Happy running 🙂