Snake Trapper Collapses – Hours Later from Venom

HOURS after a snake catcher “felt nothing” from an eastern brown strike, his kidneys began to shut down. An expert says it’s due to a “stupid” misconception.

AUSTRALIA is home to some of the most venomous snakes in the world meaning snake handlers, the people tasked to get rid of them out of our homes and cars, are kept exceptionally busy.

But recently, a number of snake catchers and venomous snake owners have found themselves in the hospital at an increasing rate — and it has a lot to do with a common misconception.

William Pledger, an experienced snake catcher from Gympie, was recently called to a property in the rural Queensland town to get rid of an eastern brown snake.


Eastern browns have some of the most toxic venom in the world.

Speaking to the Gympie TimesMr Pledger realised he’d made a mistaken when he left “too much of him to turn around” when he was trying to rescue him from a garden bed.

The metre-long snake whipped around and latched onto his hand.

“I didn’t feel the bite at all,” he told the paper, referring to the snake’s fangs that had pierced his knuckle.

Moments before he was bitten.

William Pledger in hospital.
William Pledger in hospital. Source: Facebook
The bite which almost killed the snake catcher.
The bite which almost killed the snake catcher. Source: Facebook

One of Melbourne’s most prominent snake catchers, Raymond Hoser, known as the “Snake Man”, has hit out at the term “dry bite”, calling them “rare as rockinghorse s**t”.

“Dozens of snake handlers have died thinking they were dry bites. These people getting bitten thinking there’s no pain but they just collapse and die,” he told

“Dry bites aren’t common. I want to know who came up with the bulls**t over dry bites.”

Mr Hoser, who has been running the educational snake show Snakebusters since 2006, said the chance of a dry bite “is basically zero”.

Mr Hoser said Queensland has a bad track record when it comes to snake catchers having accidents.

“Queensland is the worst. There’s handlers teaching other handlers who have no expertise whatsoever and they go out and catch snakes with metal tongs. It’s not good,” he said.

Despite Mr Pledger’s harrowing experience with the eastern brown, he said his eyes have been open to the risks.

“It’s good to get a wake-up call every now and again, but I don’t want one like this for a few more years,” he said.


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