SAVING LIVES: Granite Belt snake catcher Drew Godfrey hopes the sessions will bring about better awareness for snakes.
SAVING LIVES: Granite Belt snake catcher Drew Godfrey hopes the sessions will bring about better awareness for snakes.

Trend of idiotic snake behaviour spurs new program

AFTER a Queensland driver was hailed a hero when he battled off a brown snake bite at 100k/h, Stanthorpe snake catcher Drew Godfrey decided it was time to break down common misconceptions about snake safety before tragedy struck on the Southern Downs.

Fainting is one of the most common reactions to a bite, according to Mr Godfrey, making the viral man’s actions “idiotic”.

“The media hyped him up to be a hero when driving yourself to hospital with a snake bite is just about the most dangerous thing you can do to yourself and others,” he said.

“If you crash, you take out another family, you’re putting everyone else’s lives at risk.”

The response had led him to organise an upcoming public information session about snake first aid and how to best approach the animal.

“Looking back at the records of snake bite deaths, most of the time it happens because the person didn’t do first aid at all or did it incorrectly,” he said.

Eastern Brown snake in Gympie: An Eastern brown snake is removed from a Gympie property on Monday.
Eastern Brown snake in Gympie: An Eastern brown snake is removed from a Gympie property on Monday.

After an overwhelming Facebook interest, Mr Godfrey was also continuing his push to bring the class to schools.

Out of 30 schools around the region, only one had accepted Mr Godfrey’s invitations to host the safety sessions, in a move he labelled “disappointing”.

“I think this type of education should be a part of schools,” he said.

“We have the most venomous snakes in Australia … Eastern Brown Snakes are the most common in our area and responsible for most fatalities in Australia but dealing with snakes isn’t part of the school system.”

Mr Godfrey also hoped better awareness would dismantle the “petrified” reputation of the creature.

“Every time I do a presentation, people walk away with appreciation rather than fear, “ he said.

“Most snakes are completely harmless, including the venomous ones. Bees are venomous but we don’t fear them, spiders are venomous and yet there’s heaps in your house and people don’t freak out.

“If people knew truth about snakes, they would just respect them.”

For more information contact Mr Godfrey on 0458 491 123.