Downpour of rain from ex-Tropical Cyclone Owen in Airlie Beach.
Downpour of rain from ex-Tropical Cyclone Owen in Airlie Beach. Claudia Alp

Animal instincts make for a perfect swarm

ALTHOUGH Tropical Cyclone Owen left the Whitsunday and Central Coast generally unscathed, the wildlife felt differently and behaved accordingly.

Local snake catcher Kylee Gray said her phone had been ringing "off the hook" and although the severe weather warning ended up being somewhat overestimated, fauna were still preparing for the worst.

"They sense something. They know what's going on before we do, and they can sense things changing," Ms Gray said.

Ms Gray said most of the call-outs were for snakes, particularly pythons.

"There were a lot more snakes inside homes than normal.

"They move to higher ground, away from the weather.

"I found them up high in sheds on shelving, on curtain rails, anywhere up high really.

"They were just there to wait out the weather, and to keep warm and dry."

Ms Gray said it wasn't just scaly reptiles seeking shelter, with swarms of insects scurrying to safety too.

"I've noticed ants higher up than they would be. We've had wolf spiders inside, and all sorts of insects seeking shelter," Ms Gray said.

Often before a large weather event or before a big storm, Ms Gray said herself along with other wildlife carers in the area often had an influx of calls.

"When you've got a big system building, we do notice the calls coming in more frequently," she said.