WIRES was called to an unusual but elegant visitor to our shores over the last couple of days. Initially the Elegant sea snake was sighted on Sunday at Long Beach. It was reported to have been washed ashore and was alive but being pestered by inquisitive humans and becoming agitated. Sea snakes that wash ashore are generally in a weakened state and should be treated cautiously as they are as venomous as their land cousin the eastern brown snake. The pestering drove the animal back into the water before it was able to be rescued. The following day a second report came in of presumably the same snake being washed ashore further down the beach. This time a rescuer, Kay Mallitt, was able to locate it but the animal had already passed away. There were no obvious external injuries to it. This is the first sea snake to be reported to the mid-south coast WIRES branch in this area for a few years. It would be very rare for a swimmer to encounter one in the water. A hint that can really help rescuers is when you come across an injured animal in an obscure location, to tie a bag or ribbon to a nearby fence or pole so the animal can be quickly located by a rescuer.
Photo credit Kay Mallitt