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THREE Victorians are recovering from snake bites after being bitten within four hours of each other on Sunday.
A fourth person called paramedics after trying to move a dead snake and getting a scare when they were pricked by a blackberry bush.
The three bites occurred during the afternoon at Nar Nar Goon, in the state’s southeast, Coimadai, in central Victoria and Nathalia, in northern Victoria.
A woman in her 30s was the first to be bitten. She was transported to Casey Hospital shortly after midday.
A man in his 40s was bitten about 1pm and rushed to a hospital in St Albans.
And an elderly man was being seen by staff at Shepparton’s Goulburn Hospital after being bitten about 2pm.
Wangaratta Base Hospital staff responded to a fourth incident where a man in his 60s believed he had been bitten at Whitfield, in Victoria’s north.
The Age reports he found two puncture wounds on his leg and was kept overnight for observation but hospital staff determined he had not been bitten.
Warmer weather is believed to be responsible for drawing the reptiles out of hibernation.
Victoria’s Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning issued a statement at the beginning of October, warning Victorians that snakes were also “enjoying the spring sunshine”.
“With the weather warming up, these cold-blooded reptiles are now becoming more active and a lot more visible as they start to emerge from their winter hibernation to bask in the sun and to search for food and a mate.
“Eastern brown snakes are the most common in north east Victoria with the occasional tiger snake or red bellied black snake, which are usually found around wetlands, creeks and rivers.
“These three species are highly venomous, but it is rare for them to bite people. Most snake bites are received by people who try to capture or kill a snake.
“Snakes are generally very shy and prefer to keep away from people. They can be found in backyards as they pass through on their way to another habitat, so watch out for your pets as a snake could bite a dog or cat if disturbed.”
The department warned there are a number of steps people can take to avoid being bitten.
“If you see a snake, keep calm and yourself, anyone with you or your pets away.”
Other advice included never attempting to touch a snake, clearing piles of rocks and timber from your property, regularly mowing lawns and undertaking first aid training.
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