The rain may have stopped in Queensland, but that hasn’t stopped snakes from falling out of the sky. Snakes attempting to escape the flooded areas have been terrifying the relief crews from New Zealand. The Aussies may be having a laugh, but this situation is potentially dangerous. Learn what is being done to protect both the crews and the snakes. — Global Animal
New Zealand Civil Defence workers assisting the massive recovery mission in flood-ravaged Queensland were today given a minder to keep an eye out for snakes after a potentially deadly close encounter.
The 15-member team were quickly ushered clear from danger when a highly venomous brown snake appeared as they headed to Dalby, the latest stop on their relief assignment.
Civil Defence liaison officer Ian Wilson said it was fortunate Australians travelling with the group identified the danger.
“They ran into one and the locals kept them well away from it,” he told NZPA.
“It brought home the fact they have to take extra precautions and care.”
Western Downs Mayor Ray Brown said snakes were posing a serious threat to emergency and clean-up crews as the reptiles also sought to escape floodwaters.
“We had to hire a local snake catcher to go around with the Kiwis and keep the snakes away from them, they don’t like them very much,” he told AAP.
“There are no snakes in New Zealand so these poor blokes are pretty spooked by it all and the Aussies are taking every opportunity to tell them as many scary snake stories as they can,” he said.
Mr Brown said while no one had been bitten paramedics were on hand just in case.
“I was talking to a medical crew who went out on the Condamine River at Dalby in a flood boat just on dark last night, and they had a number of snakes swimming up to the boat and trying to get in because they’re looking for anything to hang onto.
“There have been lots of stories about snakes getting caught up in trees and as boats go by they’re just plopping out of the trees; I mean it’s not raining snakes but it’s not the most pleasant of places to be.
“Their country’s been flooded too and they’re just trying to survive, but anything that wriggles mate, you stay well away from.”
The New Zealanders are expected to be in Dalby, 210km west of Brisbane, for the weekend to carry out damage assessment and clean-up work.