Wildlife seek water as dry weather continues

UNWELCOME VISITOR: One Wynnum family found a snake inside their toilet in mid-January. Photo: Brisbane Snake Catchers.

UNWELCOME VISITOR: One Wynnum family found a snake inside their toilet in mid-January. Photo: Brisbane Snake Catchers.

BIRDS, koalas and snakes are among the creatures seeking water and shade during what forecasters say has so far been one of the driest Januaries on record.

Brisbane snake catcher Stewart Lalor said current hot and dry weather conditions meant snakes were more likely than usual to be found inside homes.

“It’s not that they’re more active than usual, but we’re finding more inside people’s houses,” Mr Lalor said.

“Snakes are ectothermic, so they need heat but they can also get too hot.”

He said common areas for snakes to shelter included garages with cold concrete floors and any rooms with air conditioning.

Bathrooms were also inviting environments due to their cold tiled floors and water in showers, sinks and toilets, he added.

Earlier in January, Mr Lalor said he was called to a house in Wynnum where a snake was found in a toilet.

“They quite often get in through air conditioning units and overflow drains in your bathroom,” Mr Lalor said.

“Snakes like to lurk around the perimeter of houses in the shade, so if there’s a door left open and they feel the air conditioning breeze, they’ll sometimes come into the house.”

He added that people who had spotted a snake in their home should not try to catch or kill it, but should call a licensed professional such as Brisbane Snake Catchers.

He also recommended that residents keep their yards clear and have first aid kits in their homes and cars prepared for the unlikely event of a snake bite.

Other animals, including birds and koalas, have also been affected by the hot and dry weather.

Birds have been spotted gathering around sprinklers, believed to have been seeking water.

PARCHED: Birds gathered around sprinklers at Henry Ziegenfusz park.

PARCHED: Birds gathered around sprinklers at Henry Ziegenfusz park.

Koalas suffering in the dry heat could often be found sitting on the ground attempting to cool down.

University of Queensland researcher Dr Bill Ellis said koalas that were sick could sit on the ground for days, making them vulnerable to attacks.

He added that koalas were hydrated from water in eucalyptus leaves they ingested but they stopped eating when it became too hot.

“Unless it cools down, if gets to a point they can’t meet their water requirements,” Dr Ellis said.

Koala Action Group president Debbie Pointing said she had asked community members to place containers of water at the base of trees in areas known to be frequented by koalas to help the animals cope with dry conditions.

Report sick or injured koalas to Redlands Wildlife Rescue on 3833 4031.