ANTHONY Zink has been playing with snakes for as long as he can remember.
"My dad says I was about five when I first played with a snake," he said.
"I don't remember that, but I know my mother didn't like it at all."
Now he is a rescuer to the scaly reptiles across the Bundaberg region, and has seen first hand that snake season is upon us once again.
Last week he caught a 7 foot carpet snake, pictured, at Tantitha Park.
"It's the start of spring," Anthony said.
"As it's starting to warm up they'll start coming out.
"It's mostly been carpet snakes I've been getting, the occasionally tree snake, no browns yet."
His tally for the last week: two green tree snakes and two carpet snakes, including the Tantitha giant.
"He was a big boy," Anthony said.
The snake catcher releases his charges into the wild, "As far away from people as they possibly can be".
Snake season runs from around September to February, depending on the temperature.
"Sometimes we don't get a cold enough winter, but we've had a couple of cold snaps - when the snakes cool down enough they want to breed and that will be one of the problems - males will be looking for females," Anthony said.
When you're out and about in the bush or the back yard, it's important to "be vigilant of where you're walking."
SNAKE DOS AND DONTS
There are plenty of things people do wrong when it comes to snakes, he said.
The first thing is to be scared.
"They're laying on the ground looking up at us, we're 6ft tall peering down at them - to them, we're monstrous," he said.
"It's like when a police officer pulls up next to you and looks down at you through your window."
The most common mistake people make?
"Picking up a shovel," Anthony said.
"I try to get people educated to leave them alone.
"It's when you go after the snake, that's when they retaliate.
"When you're out in the garden, take a plastic rake, or keep a broom handy, so that you can have that between yourself and the snake - if it bites that, you're fine."
If you find a snake in your house or yard and you want it removed, simply leave it alone, call a snake catcher like Anthony and keep an eye on it, he said.
He himselve has been bitten "plenty of times".
"The only people who should get bitten are the ones who approach the snakes," he said.
"Somebody's got to do it."
If you need a snake removed, you can call Anthony Zink on 0415 473 090.
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