No escape from our snake woman
By NADINE FISHER
THE mercury is rising and experts are warning to be wary of snakes, but 80-year-old Yvonne Murray is the last person worried about revved-up reptiles.
Snakes are waking up from their winter hibernation and appearing in backyards and gardens around the Tweed, searching for food and to breed.
The Tweed Valley Wildlife Carers organisation has already received lots of calls and issued warnings to residents.
"This is a busy time of year for reptiles, and we've had a to relocate snakes from houses and gardens," said co-ordinator Sue Johnson.
And that's where Mrs Murray comes in.
She's had a lifelong passion of slippery reptiles and has relocated a countless number of snakes, starting when she was just a child.
"I grew up in the bush and we always had snakes around," she said.
"And living here in the holiday park, I often relocate snakes from the camping ground."
Mrs Murray, a keen member of the Tweed Valley Wildlife Carers, likes snakes so much she keeps four as pets ? three spotted rock pythons and a very big carpet python named Blossom.
"Blossom is five years old, and actually turned out to be a he, but I take him for a bit of a stroll everyday," she said.
Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary's assistant wildlife manager Matt Hengley said yesterday if people came across a snake they should leave it alone.
"If someone has encounter with a snake, they should consider themselves very lucky to have met such a beautiful component of our ecosystem," he said. "That said, people shouldn't assume the snake is not dangerous.
"Snakes are not to be menaced with, tampered with or killed. It's actually illegal to do so."