Australia is experiencing one of its warmest winters on record, prompting an urgent warning from the Australian Reptile Park as venomous snakes emerge early due to rising global temperatures and increased winter rainfall. Usually, snakes enter a hibernation-like state called “brumation” during winter, becoming less active. However, this year’s heatwave has disrupted their usual behavior, resulting in an unusual surge in snake-related call-outs, as reported by the Australian Reptile Park. Billy Collett, the park’s operations manager, emphasized that snakes do not intentionally harm people and that snake bites primarily occur when individuals attempt to catch or kill the snake. To reduce the risk, he advised Australians to refrain from such actions. Still, he urged people to educate themselves on how to respond to snake bites, which can turn fatal within as little as 30 minutes. This includes keeping bite victims calm, removing jewelry and watches, and bandaging the entire limb, not just the bite area. Collett also recommended clearing backyards of materials like stacked firewood, which can create ideal snake habitats.

As global temperatures rise due to the continued use of planet-warming fossil fuels, Australia’s winters have been gradually warming. Recent data from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology reveals that last month was New South Wales’ fourth warmest July on record, with temperatures nearly 1.2 degrees Celsius above the seasonal average nationwide. In the United Kingdom, which experienced its hottest June on record this year, rising temperatures are affecting the country’s pet snake population. The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) reported an increase in pet snakes escaping from their enclosures due to the warming climate.