A snake catcher has hit back at claims that he planted a toxic tiger snake on a petrol pump in Melbourne.
Raymond Hoser removed the 1.2-metre long reptile from a bowser at a Coles Express service station in Nunawading, west of the city, on Wednesday.
The 57-year-old claimed the creature slithered onto the pump after getting a ride under a vehicle.
‘Deadly tiger snakes like this ripper specimen have been hitching rides in cars and turning up in weird places this week,’ he said.
Raymond Hoser removed the 1.2-metre long reptile from a bowser at a Coles Express service station in Nunawading, west of the city, on Wednesday
Snake catcher Raymond Hoser has seen a huge spike in the number of call outs for eastern brown, copperhead and tiger snakes (pictured)
But Coles were concerned as to how the snake could have coiled itself around the bowser and called the police, the Herald Sun reported.
Officers reviewed the CCTV footage taken before Mr Hoser, who owns reptile removal company Snakebusters, collected the animal.
While investigations are ongoing, Melbourne’s online reptile groups have wagered their own theories.
Mr Hoser said any speculation that he put the snake there was ‘crap’.
‘I don’t plant snakes to generate business,’ he told the Herald Sun.
‘I have heard of others doing it but not me.’
Snakes have also appeared at a local Melbourne university, children’s park and in people’s backyards
He then claimed he was the city’s original snake catcher and others may be ‘jealous and spreading crap about me’.
Mr Hoser said he has not been contacted by police.
He said he found the same type of snake at a Melbourne University but was unable to catch it during his visit.
‘It went up inside the cladding of the building, it could pop up on another floor and find its way out through a hole in an air conditioner or something like that,’ he warned.
Earlier in the week he found another tiger snake lurking around a children’s swing set in Warrandyte at a local council park.
Mr Hoser (pictured) said he has received 30 per cent more calls for snake sightings compared with this time last year due to warm weather and people being home during pandemic
On the same day he retrieved a copperhead and a fat brown snake which was 1.8metres long.
Mr Hoser explained that spring is the peak season for snake sightings as they all come out of hibernation.
The busiest month of the year is October but sightings have risen earlier in the season as people are spending more time in their backyards due to Victoria’s stage four coronavirus lockdown.
‘Melbourne is usually cold and overcast so if it’s sunny all the snakes come out at once. If we have a clear sky, no wind and sunny day, if we don’t get 20 calls it is unusual,’ he explained.
Mr Hoser said snake sightings usually peak on warm weekends but the pandemic had meant more sightings across the week.
The snake catcher has also caught multiple black snakes in the past few months which are not native to the Melbourne area
‘Generally we are seeing more sightings this year. We are up about 30 per cent compared to normal, but it’s hard to tell as it’s only the start of the season.
The snake catcher has also caught multiple black snakes in the past few months which are not native to the Melbourne area.
‘One travelled from Bendigo to Surry Hills and after the car drove into the garage, the snake crawled out from underneath and went up into the bedroom where I caught it,’ he said.
Mr Hoser also caught one of the biggest female black snakes he has ever seen at Melbourne airport.
The reptile had hitched a ride from Tocumwal in southern new south wales and measured 1.75metres.
The reptile wrapped around the petrol pump at Coles Express in Nunawading crawled out from underneath a car when the driver went inside to pay for petrol.