Why killing a snake could cost you thousands
SUMMERTIME and hotter weather means snakes will be more active across the Gympie Region.
But as dangerous (and often fearsome) as these animals can be, injuring or killing them can lead to a different kind of hurt for locals.
"All snakes which are native to Queensland and Australia are protected animals," Detective Acting Sergeant Paul Jones said.
"Injuring or killing these snakes is an offence, which can lead to court appearances and hefty fines."
Beyond the initial fine, upon prosecution the party will also be hit with an additional 'conservation value' to be paid to the Crown.
This value relates to the individual animal and some of the costs are as follows:
Extinct in the wild wildlife - $17,941
Endangered wildlife - $14,352
Vulnerable wildlife - $10,671
Threatened wildlife - $7,171
Least concern wildlife (most snakes) - $1,785
"The most common snakes seen in and around the Wide Bay Burnett are carpet pythons, eastern browns and red belly black snakes," Mr Jones added, noting most bites happen as a result of attempting to move or harm the animals.
"All snakes can be dangerous, and if you see on it's best to give it plenty or room."
Other species that are known to call the Gympie Region home include the Coastal Taipan, Common Death Adder, Red-naped snake, Yellow-faced whip snake, black headed python, spotted python and a number of tree snake species.
Beyond killing Australian snakes, capturing them without the proper permits can also have serious legal consequences.
Three people have recently been charged with one count of restriction - or keeping/using a taken protected animal.
They include a Blackbutt man, a Maryborough woman and a teenager from Urangan.
Under the Nature Conservation Act 1992, illegally taking a commonly found snake could lead to a fine up to $12,615, deemed a 'Class 4' offence.
Conversely, a 'Class 1' offence - keeping an extinct in the wild or endangered species - could see a possible maximum fine of $378,450 (or up to two years imprisonment).
However, snakes and other native reptiles can be kept as pets - but before obtaining the animal from a licensed supplier a Recreational Wildlife License must be obtained beforehand.
In the event you do find a snake in a Gympie backyard, the best course of action is to contact a professional snake handler.
There are currently three separate services operating in the Gympie Region:
Gympie Reptile Removal: 0419 482 899
Wildlife Management Services: 0414 075 314
Go Wild Reptiles: 0410 774 924