Just another day on the job

Rangers at Uluru-Kata Tjuta learn a wide range of unusual skills out in the desert environment. We were challenged to test our courage while attending a snake-handling course this week.  We spent a day with Rex Neindorf from the Alice Springs Reptile Centre learning how to safely capture and relocate some of the world’s most deadly snakes away from visitor hotspots and roadsides if needed.

As the weather warms up, snakes will be enticed from hibernation in search of ideal sunbaking spots like roads, where they are in danger of being struck by passing cars.  Hopefully with some help from the rangers, local snakes will be relocated before suffering any injuries. Snakes are shy creatures, but may be spotted around the park from time to time.

It’s important to remember that the national park is home to mulga and western browns snakes, and while we’re not on their menu, it’s best to keep an eye out for them particularly now that the weather is warming up.

We also enjoyed an opportunity to handle some non-venomous species during the course. It was amazing to hold the snakes and feel their muscles contract as they wrapped themselves around our arms – such a weird and unnatural feeling!  There’s a misconception that snakes are slimy, but that couldn’t be further from the truth – their skin is smooth and shiny.

The training and pictures were taken at Yulara resort outside of the Uluru Kata-Tjuta National Park, as no snakes are allowed to be transported within park boundaries.

If park visitors spot a snake and believe it may pose a danger, please report it to park staff.

Leah, Adam and Lauren, rangers, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park

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