Snake found in playground sparks call for better education

THE discovery of a highly venomous snake in a playground has sparked calls for students to be better educated about what to do if they find one.

Kim Everson, the director of Mooloolah Little Munchkins, found a rough-scaled snake hiding in a sand pit cover during her morning grounds check last week.

While Ms Everson didn't know how venomous the snake was, her immediate thought was to keep the children away.

"It's the first snake I've come across at the centre, it's one of my biggest fears,'' she said.

"I didn't take much notice of the colouring or stripes but I got straight on the phone to Richie (Gilbert) the snake catcher to come and get it."

He arrived to return the snake to the wild and confirmed just how dangerous it was.

"You really don't want to get bitten by one of these," Mr Gilbert said.

Luckily Ms Everson found the snake and followed the centre's snake action plan, but it's not the first snake that has been found at a child care centre in the last month.

Last week Mr Gilbert was called out to a Buderim centre to remove a python, an instance he said was not all that uncommon.

Snake Catcher Richie Gilbert talks to kindergarten kids about the dangers of snakes.
Snake Catcher Richie Gilbert talks to kindergarten kids about the dangers of snakes. Richie Gilbert

"Not sure what it is about child care centres and snakes but it's a weekly occurrence for me," he said in a post on Facebook.

However he said the findings were a chance to educate children about snake safety.

"I love to share our beautiful, misunderstood wildlife with young children before they start developing the typical Aussie attitude 'a good snake is a dead snake'," Mr Gilbert said.

Ms Everson agreed and stressed the importance of children being snake-aware, especially for families in rural areas.

"Depending on the area, yes snake awareness needs to be taught," she said.

"It's important on the Coast. I try to educate my own children as well as the kids at the centre.''

Ms Everson said the children not only enjoyed learning about snakes, it made them aware of what to do if they found one.

For a number of years snake expert Jill Zimmerman has been trying to get snake education taught in schools.

She belives better education would prevent unnecessary killing of snakes along with increased safety for children living in areas prone to them.

"It's important that children know what to do when they see a snake," she said.

"It's heartbreaking to see people trying to kill snakes so I'm all for education in any way possible."

A Queensland Education spokesman said it was up to individual schools whether they wanted snake education for students however schools had trained first aid personnel on staff in the event of an incident.

If you need a snake catcher Richie Gilbert can be contacted on 0409 536 000.

Topics:  editors picks education playground schools snake students

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Mental health survey for our entertainers

SURVEY: Entertainment Assist is conducting research into mental health among people working in the industry.

Findings will be used to develop a prevention framework

Confirmed: Matt Damon is NOT moving to Byron Bay

HOLLYWOOD COUPLE: Matt Damon and Luciana Barroso arriving at the 88th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California.

But the town gained an unexpected US marketing campaign

Country Club becomes the centre of power

GENERATION: Nationals Parliamentary Secretary for Renewable Energy Ben Franklin, presenting the funding to the Club - General Manager Andrew Spice, Golf Director Ian Wingad, Chairman Peter Tomaros, Treasurer Anne Slater, and Director Tony Dahl.

Grant to Shore emergency centre

Local Partners