Snake Catcher

The snake catcher in Melbourne ID's snakes!

The word Snake is usually enough to scare most people!
In Melbourne, Victoria, Australia this makes sense.
Pretty much any snake you see will be of a deadly variety.
The Melbourne Snake Catcher, Raymond Hoser is called by people on a daily basis to capture snakes in gardens, homes and pretty much anywhere else.
Over decades the snake hander has been called to remove snakes from homes, shops, factories, crown casino, brothels, schools, government offices, on top of cranes, container ships, taxis, buses, trains, trams, cars, boats, churches and pretty much any other place you could possibly imagine.
Snake capture is usually easy, but it is finding them that is not always so.
Typically, the snake has long gone before the reptile catcher arrives.
Snake man Raymond Hoser has more skil than any other snake catchers in Australia and more than any other is likely to find a missing snake after it has fled.
But even the snakeman himself cannot always find the snake.
Recently a client wanted to raze a concrete driveway to get a black snake that had fled under it.
This was done, but no snake was found!
What was a found was a massive network of burrows and holes that literally went everywhere, including under the slab of the family home.
Short of demolishing the place, the snake was not to be found.
So how does one ID different kinds of snakes and how does one know which ones are safe and which are not?
In Melbourne this is not such an issue as most snakes, seen most of the time are deadly species.
These are black snakes, brown snakes, tiger snakes and copperheads.
All are of similar size and shape and all are deadly.
the Black Snake rarely kills people, but the other three are more than likely to kill you if they bite you and the bite is not treated with ant-venom.
So advice is simple.
Don't get bit!
Raymond Hoser has done a massive favour for people to keep them safe and created a webpage with lots of photos of the main kinds of deadly snake in Victoria.
The snake catcher deadly snakes of Melbourne photos can be found online.
In summary there are a few pointers as to how to usually tell each of the major species from one another.
Red Bellied Black Snakes and Brown Snakes have all or mainly divided scales under the tail, posterior to the poo hole (anal plate, vent or cloacal opening), versus all single to the tip of the tail in Tiger Snakes and Copperheads.
Black and brown typically have a shiny finish to their scales, wheras Copperheads and Tigers are usually a so-called matt finish.
Black snakes are usually black, while Browns come in all colours, including black, but are further defined by obvious markings of some kind on the forebelly.
Tiger snakes have a unicolour head and without any markings or etchings on the upper lip. There is no crown at the back of the head as is usually seen in copperheads, which invariably have white-etched scales on the upper lip, or alternatively white triangles.
Tiger snakes have a biggish head, versus smallish in Copperheads.
Experience and proper training helps, but in the meantime it is well worth looking at the snake catcher's photos of the diferent snake species.

Red Bellied Black Snake

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