Stay safe in the outdoors as snakes slither into spring

Released 24/10/2018

As the weather begins to warm up, Canberrans are encouraged to be mindful when out and about in our bush capital with snakes becoming more active and visible.

“Canberra has an abundance of native wildlife, which includes eight species of snakes. The warmer spring weather means snakes will start to emerge from hibernation in search of food and water,” ACT Conservator Ian Walker said.

“Eastern brown snakes are most frequently seen across Canberra from October until March. While they are highly venomous, they are naturally shy and will only strike when provoked. If you do come across a snake the best approach is not to catch or kill them, as harassing the reptile may cause it to defend itself by striking.

“It’s also timely to remind people that snakes are a protected species, and under the Nature Conservation Act it is an offence to capture, harm or kill them.

“Canberrans can discourage snakes from entering their yards by keeping lawns and gardens well-maintained, storing piles of wood or compost heaps above ground and ensuring pet food and water bowls are not accessible to native wildlife.

“When out bushwalking, people should wear enclosed shoes, be alert and avoid walking through long grass. If people encounter a snake they should move away and let it go on its way,” Mr Walker said.

If you do see a snake, please remember:

  • when left alone, snakes present little danger to people and animals
  • if you see a snake, move pets and children away until the snake moves off
  • when bushwalking let friends or family know where you’re going, wear enclosed shoes, take a backpack with a first aid kit and be alert at all times
  • keep gardens, sheds and aviaries well-maintained
  • don’t attempt to capture or kill snakes, instead call Access Canberra on 13 22 81 for further advice, or call a licensed snake catcher.

More information on snakes in the ACT, including snake removal can be found at

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