News

Watch the video: Gladstone journo doubles as snake catcher

Meet Mike Boen and Jason Gibb. Mike's a train driver, Jason is an auto electrician.

Oh, and they're also snake catchers; so we sat them down and put them through a Q&A.

Ready for release. Mike Boen and Jason Gibb Photo Declan Cooley / The Observer
Ready for release. Mike Boen and Jason Gibb Photo Declan Cooley / The Observer Declan Cooley

Why snake catching? It's a fascination for us. We love them and in this way we can help both the snake and the people calling up.

Are you crazy? It helps to be a little crazy but we're constantly assessing the risks and this is what we love.

Favourite snake? Coral snake (Mike); Black headed python (Jason).

Worst snake? The Coastal taipan because they are so mean and fast however the Eastern Brown snake is probably worse because they're deadly and so prolific in this region.

Ever been bitten? Lots of times but only once by something venomous. It was a Black whip snake (Mike). Never by anything serious (Jason).

Usual callers? We get anyone and everyone calling up. Women at home, guys on worksites and people in offices.
 

Snake release. Mike Boen and Jason Gibb Photo Declan Cooley / The Observer
Snake release. Mike Boen and Jason Gibb Photo Declan Cooley / The Observer Declan Cooley

People have needed saving from snakes since biblical times, why? I don't know why but people just get scared around snakes and then they start to believe in the stereotypes and pass it on.

What do snakes bring to the table? They eat a lot of rats and mice so they clean those suckers up for us.

Would you ever eat a snake? If I had to but I wouldn't go out of my way to try one.

Do you prefer the company of snakes? Sometimes.

Do snakes need to hire a PR firm to improve their image? People really shouldn't be afraid of them but it's good to be careful. People lose their minds and do dumb things around snakes.
 


How do you prepare? We are ready to go all year round. We always have our snake catching gear in the car. It's important to have good boots and the correct elastic pressure bandages.

Equipment you couldn't live without? Snake hook.

Strangest call out: I once got called out to a place after the police raided a property. Turned out the lady was just making smelly soap but she had a couple of brown snakes tucked away that I had to get out. Other than that there are a lot of snakes in toilets. (Mike)

I've been rummaging around under people's beds looking for snakes and found all kinds of interesting things. (Jason)

Snake myths: Snakes can't die until the sun goes down; you can suck snake venom out with your mouth; venomous snakes can't climb; carpet and brown snakes can breed together; and, milk attracts snakes. The only things people need are proper pressure bandages and a phone to call us.

Advice: You can't ever fully snake proof your home but some of the essentials include: A first aid kit in the house and car. Three pressure bandages. A torch. Clear spaces (two-three metres) and lighting around doors. Clean yards.

For snake removal call Mike Boen on 0438793865 or Jason Gibb on 0427376478

Topics:  q and a, snake catcher, wildlife



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