OODGEROO MP Mark Robinson has caused a furore on social media after posting a picture on Facebook of a snake that he killed at his Sheldon property.
Mr Robinson – who has a degree in zoology – said he had no choice as he was attacked by the snake in his home.
“It leapt at me with no notice,” Mr Robinson said. “I fended it off and it struck at me from a short distance. I had no choice. It was purely self-defence.”
Mr Robinson said in the split second he had after seeing the snake, it appeared to be an eastern brown, which was venomous.
Redlands snake catcher Tony Morrison said the reptile pictured in Mr Robinson’s Facebook post was a keelback, which was not dangerous.
He said snake attacks commonly occurred when people tried to catch the reptiles.
“People try to hit them and hit the body which injures the snake,” Mr Morrison said. “The snake feels threatened and it will go at you.”
Mr Morrison said he had shared the MP’s social media post to educate people that snakes would move away if they were left alone.
Mr Robinson deleted the post from his social media account after the backlash in which people said he should be reported for killing a protected species.
Mr Robinson said he respected wildlife including snakes.
“We’ve had carpet snakes and tree snakes on our property,” Mr Robinson said. “We have always walked around them and they have moved away.
“This is the first time in the 16 years of living on the property that I have had what appeared to be a venomous snake striking at me.”
Mr Robinson said he was aware that people should call a snake handler if there was time to do so.
“They are part of the environment of where we are,” Mr Robinson said. “They keep the mice and toad population down.”
The Environment Department says the best way to avoid a bite is to leave the snake alone. Most snakes will bite only as a last resort.
It also warns that it is easy to be confused about similar looking species.
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