An amethystine python, also known as a scrub python, that ate a cat in Mareeba recently. Credit: Atherton Snake Catcher/Facebook.
An amethystine python, also known as a scrub python, that ate a cat in Mareeba recently. Credit: Atherton Snake Catcher/Facebook.

Snake catcher shuts business over ‘snowflake’ hate

A SNAKE catcher has closed his business after being targeted by online trolls he calls snowflakes.

Wayne Alderton shut down his Atherton Snake Catcher service over the weekend, saying it was because of online trolls - particularly from the city - after some of his Facebook page followers questioned the way he handled a snake in one of his videos and criticised the way he trained his cattle dog, Mate, to be afraid of snakes, water and potential dog baits.

Mr Alderton had claimed he 'took (his dog) down to the river every day and drowned him so he hates water' and left 'chunks of meat laced with red hot chillies' to teach him to avoid bait.

Atherton snake catcher Wayne Alderton has shut down his business
Atherton snake catcher Wayne Alderton has shut down his business


The video which caused uproar shows a torch light being shone on a scrub python Mr Alderton was in the process of recently removing from a cat run in Mareeba.

The snake, which had devoured a cat, strikes at the person recording at least once while chuckling can be heard.

Some of the Atherton Snake Catcher Facebook page followers accused Mr Alderton of hissing at and stirring the python up on purpose for the camera, risking the snake possibly injuring itself on wire.

An amethystine python, also known as a scrub python, that ate a cat in Mareeba recently. Credit: Atherton Snake Catcher/Facebook.
An amethystine python, also known as a scrub python, that ate a cat in Mareeba recently. Credit: Atherton Snake Catcher/Facebook.

"You are an idiot. Stirring the snake to make it strike on camera," one man commented under the video.

"But doing it above cut wire that could quite easily cut the snake open."

Mr Alderton, 48, said he was not hissing at the snake.

"I'm blowing my breath on him so one of those strikes keeps him out of the cage long enuff (sic) to quickly grab him … there's not a lot of room to work with," he wrote.

When some other followers started agreeing the snake catcher was not handling the python appropriately, an online stoush erupted.

The exchanges on Facebook were heated. Source: Atherton Snake Catcher/Facebook.
The exchanges on Facebook were heated. Source: Atherton Snake Catcher/Facebook.

While some said Mr Alderton had "no business sense" and called him "idiot" he replied by calling one woman a "s**t" and others "soft c**nts."

He also, under the Atherton Snake Catcher's Facebook handle, asked one man if he had a "boyfriend to hold ya hand now bro (sic)."

"Christ they breed you lads soft down there u hang in there hunny (sic)."

Mr Alderton later posted that he was just having some fun with the people who kept criticising him, while others alluded to his sense of humour.

"bro I'm on the couch I just chillin wits ya just passin time having some fun (sic)," he wrote.

Mr Alderton told the Courier Mail the final problems came after he posted about how he trained his dog to stay away from snakes.

Some of the exchanges on Facebook. Source: Atherton Snake Catcher/Facebook.
Some of the exchanges on Facebook. Source: Atherton Snake Catcher/Facebook.

"I copped some crap on my page for using snakes to train him, again, just people who know nothing about the bush," he said.

"I also took him down to the river every day and drowned him so now he hates water. I also leave chunks of meat laced with red hot chillies.

"So now my dog don't bail snakes, won't go in the water and end up croc bait and most importantly won't pick up any 1080 dog baits."

A screen shot of a post made by the Atherton Snake catcher in December about training his dog to stay away from snakes. Photo: Atherton Snake Catcher/Facebook.
A screen shot of a post made by the Atherton Snake catcher in December about training his dog to stay away from snakes. Photo: Atherton Snake Catcher/Facebook.

Mr Alderton said he was called cruel after he posted asking if anyone wanted their dogs to be "snake savvy."

"It's pretty basic 101 training for me, so I posted if anyone would like their pup trained to be snake savvy call me and that's where the trouble began with people and their comments saying I was cruel and s**t," he said.

"You guys don't know about the phone calls I get with mothers in distress that the dog had been hit by a brown and the kids were in the yard as well.

"I know of about 12 dogs that were killed by browns last season so I offered training and yeah then the boneheads started on my page."

Atherton snake catcher Wayne Alderton had a go at ‘snowflakes’ who criticised him
Atherton snake catcher Wayne Alderton had a go at ‘snowflakes’ who criticised him

The Atherton Snake Catcher's page has been stripped of photos, videos and posts and the mobile phone number has been disconnected.

"This business is no longer available due to entitled snowflakes hopefully they will remove your big ol browns with his back up (sic)," he wrote on the page.

Mr Alderton told the Courier Mail he had enough of trolls and was referring his clients to Miss Hiss Reptiles in Malanda.

"I don't deal with trolls and uneducated, misguided boneheads telling me about the bush and the land," he said.

"City folks with no idea.

"It's done mate. I have no interest in clowns talking s**t on my photos they know nothing about."

Wayne Alderton of Atherton Snake catchers. Credit: Wayne Alderton.
Wayne Alderton of Atherton Snake catchers. Credit: Wayne Alderton.

Numerous people have since posted their support for Mr Alderton, saying he was doing a great job and the situation was appalling.

"Now more people will get bitten for doing stupid things like trying to kill a snake or try to remove a snake. No! Need someone like you with a bit of gumption between their ears that knows exactly what they're doing (sic)," one man wrote.

Mr Alderton had previously told the Courier Mail the 3-metre long amethystine python was one of the feistiest snakes he had come across.

"He was feisty. He actually did get me," he said.