REPTILE-LOVING eight-year-old Leroy Brown just might be the best snake catcher in his whole damned town.
The boy with a name made famous by singer Jim Croce stunned his friends and relatives late last month when he calmly caught an injured python at Noosa Heads.
Dad Ray Brown knew of his son's enthusiasm for wildlife but was still surprised at how confident Leroy was when he wrangled a 2.5m snake at the back door of a friend's house.
The nearby neighbour had called Mr Brown to tell him of the snake, knowing Leroy was interested in them.
Mr Brown said Leroy already had a reptile catching rod which he had used to collect a few blue tongue lizards around his house.
He said Leroy brought the rod and a pillow case with him, but was told he was only going to look at the reptile.
"To my surprise and also I think everybody at the house, as soon as we got there, Leroy has gone straight into 'I will save it" mode," Mr Brown said.
Mr Brown quickly passed his phone to his friend to film the attempt, as he thought he might have to help out.
It wasn't long before Leroy had collected the python and eased it into a pillow case.
"He has never caught a snake before and I have to say he was so calm and confident in his approach, it made me calm.
"He was very pleased with himself, and I must say I was very proud of him.
"I have seen him with lizards and we have dogs, turtle and fish and he really loves his animals.
"Due to Leroy's love of reptiles I had to go and get my reptile licence a few years ago so we could purchase our first turtle.
"He also is always either watching the Geographic Channel or You Tubing lizards and snakes."
The snake had a wound on its body so they took it to the RSPCA but were advised to take it to a vet, so they did.
"They were great and hopefully the snake's wound will heal and be released back into its normal habitat."
Mr Brown was aware catching snakes had potential dangers and advised people to seek out trained professionals rather than do it themselves.
Sunshine Coast snake catcher Mark Neath said there were laws against interfering with protected wildlife and other dangers.
"Misidentification can happen," Mr Neath said.
He urged people to report injured animals to Sunshine Coast-based Wildlife Volunteers Association on 5441 6200 or snake catchers such as himself on 0432 465 156.
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