Mon, Sep 27, 2004 - Page 16 News List

Snakes can slither, but they can't hide

Bruce George, the tattooed Australian star of Animal Planet's `Snake Buster,'tries to take the mystery out of snakes one show at a time

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Firstly I advise people to treat any snake as potentially dangerous and not to pick it up. You should stand back and follow it at a safe distance to see where it goes. If it goes into a room, then close and pack towels under the door and call the authorities, which in the case of Taiwan is the fire service. If you're really scared, then simply close the front and back doors leave your house and wait for the authorities outside.

TT: Is catching snakes an easy job, or do you find that some snakes are a whole lot smarter than people might imagine?

George: If they're isolated it's usually no problem, but there have been times when I've been given a run for me money and you do get pretty fit doing it. I had one near my house that was going along this guy's backyard fence. I was running up the fence after it, but every time I'd get close the snake would turn around and shoot through me legs.

Eventually I got it, but as I bagged it up, the guy, whose house it was, turns around and says: "Bruce, I hate to tell you this, but there's another one behind you. I turned around and there it was just looking at me.

TT: What are your thoughts on the practice of drinking snake's blood, which is common in parts of Asia?

George: I respect other people's cultures, but it upsets me. The show is designed to educate people about snakes and why we, as humans, have no business killing them for no particular reason. So, I figure, that if I can bring one person around into realizing that there is no reason to kill these guys, then great. And I haven't seen any written evidence that snake's blood is good for anything!

Bruce George can be seen in his new series The Snake Buster at 8:30pm today on Animal Planet.

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