Storms wash up deadly sea snakes

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AND you thought snakes were only a summer problem.

Four highly venomous sea snakes have washed up on Fremantle and Cockburn beaches during storms in the last month, creating an unusual risk for dogs and dog walkers.

The latest Pelamis Platurs, more commonly known as the yellow-bellied sea snake, washed up on the Fremantle end of CY O’Connor beach on Wednesday morning. Fremantle rangers were quickly on the scene and kept watch from a safe distance until snake wrangler Dave D’Anger arrived.

Mr D’Anger told the Herald the yellow-bellies were risky because they lacked the lateral scales of their terrestrial brethren and were essentially marooned on the beach. People mistook the motionless snakes for  dead ones and tried to pick them up, only to have a deadly wriggler on their hands.

“The yellow-bellied sea snake has much smaller mouth and fangs than its land based relatives, but it is highly venomous and should be approached with caution,” Mr D’Anger said.

“The snake has a black upper body and a golden yellow belly, and is pale yellow to white with black spots along its tail.

“It has the distinction of being the world’s most wide ranging snake.

“It’s also the most aquatic, never having to set scale on land or sea floor its entire pelagic life.”

Mr D’Anger said being stuck on the land, it was an easy capture for him and the Pelamis was later released somewhere a little safer.

Anyone spotting a sea snake on the beach should call Fremantle rangers on 1300 693 736 or contact Dave D’Anger on 0448 283 152.

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