UPDATE: Why you should still be snake safe in winter
UPDATE: EXPERT'S OPINION
AFTER a Gympie teen was bitten by a snake near Hungry Jacks on Tuesday night, snake catchers were keen to warn people that snakes are still very much active in winter.
The snake that bit the 17-year-old male, who was taken to Gympie Hospital in a stable condition at around 10.30pm, wasn't identified.
Snake catcher William Pledger, said if the weather's warm, the snakes are out.
"Snakes are still out there. There is still an unusual amount on the move," he said.
Mr Pledger, who is based in Cooroy, said that since the floods in the Gympie area in the last three or four years the winter's have been warmer.
And with the unseasonably warm weather and winter yet to make its presence felt, snakes are still active.
"Snakes don't hibernate. Unlike things like bears who hibernate and go to sleep for six months and stay in their dens and then wake up and come out again, snakes will be active any time there is warm weather. And with the days we're getting of 26 and 27 degrees, they're still getting out there," Mr Pledger said.
Unlike in the southern states like Tasmania, Victoria and southern New South Wales, the warmer Queensland climate means the cold-blooded reptiles tend to have less periods of inactivity, which Mr Pledger described as brumination (a period of lessened activity due to the fact snakes are cold-blooded and require warm weather to raise their body temperatures to become active).
"It doesn't matter what the species, as soon as the weather is warm, they're out there and always on the move," he said.
"At the end of the day, here in Queensland snakes can be active all year round."
Gympie snake catcher Cody Rowe agrees.
"It doesn't really matter what time of the year you stumble across them. Like in winter they are real slow and sluggish but give them a few minutes and they'll be right royal fine to give you a run for your money," he said.
Mr Rowe said sometimes it comes down to luck on whether or not people encounter the reptiles.
"Generally overall just about all snakes are sort of active, it's just depending on the situation they're in. It just depends on the luck side of things if people come across them or not," he said.
Mr Rowe had some good advice to minimise the risks especially around woodpiles and tarps.
"Your only real option is to try and never put your hands somewhere where you can't see behind or up or underneath," he said.
A 17-year-old male was bitten on the foot by a snake at 10.25pm last night close to the Gympie netball courts and Hungry Jacks.
The teen was transported in a stable condition to Gympie Hospital after sustaining the bite on Rose St and River Rd.
It is unclear at this stage what kind of snake it was.
Update to come.