What a beautiful little snake, the Bardick (Echiopsis curta); pictured here just a small bit upset hehe.
I was delighted to find this little guy sprawled motionless on a walking path near the Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse, Dunsborough. Snakes were the last thing on my mind on such a cold, overcast day; and on such a touristy path! People were everywhere. Yet there he was, trying to absorb what little heat was in the sealed footpath.
This potentially dangerous snake (an adult might experience severe sickness, and any bite should be followed by a swift trip to hospital) is one of many reptiles that gives birth to live young: 3 to 14 in each litter! Whilst Bardicks are generally known for their feisty behaviour, this cold individual was very placid, more reluctant than usual to waste energy fighting an annoying tail-grabber; until my camera assistant got too close while I still had a grip on him! Then the little snake started to feel well and truly threatened, and trapped to boot – so fell back to his only defence mechanism, strike-strike-strike. Such a cute little guy. The second we gave him a bit of space he was off under a bush. Which goes to show — the only way to get bitten by a snake is to be silly enough to try an pick him up; or to step on him, or to be *several expletives deleted* obtuse enough to try and harm him. The best defence against any snake is the statue defence! Stand totally still, even if he seems to be coming toward you. You may well be unintentionally standing between your snake and his escape bush, so while he seems to be rushing at you he only wants to get past you and into shelter!! I have tested this theory several times, including on heated up, large and potentially deadly animals in a rage after being caught in a trap! Works every time!
Remember, touching wild snakes is for silly people! Enjoy these beauties from a safe distance, and watch them go about their business with respect.