Q: What do you look for when you’re trying to spot a python?
A: Mainly, it’s just a discrepancy in the landscape. It’s something that don’t belong. And they’re suited as camouflage, they blend into everything, but you can still see the shine of their skin. One big snake I caught, I just caught a glimpse of something shining in the bushes and I thought it was a piece of trash, maybe a bottle or something that somebody threw out there. But as I got closer, I could see the snake was underneath all that brush. And there’s a video online of me catching that big snake and you could see I was like, yeah, I thought it was a piece of trash or a bottle or something and then you could see that shine and it just caught my eye. So that’s mainly what you look for, is just something that don’t belong or the shine of that skin.
Q: Have you had any close calls with a snake?
A: I’ve had them get around my neck and once they get around your neck it’s not a good thing. So you’ve got to either have help or have somebody around you because the sheer force of their pressure, it’s not that they strangle you; it’s that they squeeze you so hard that your blood pressure elevates to a point to where your heart just can’t handle it anymore and your heart will pop. So I’ve had that feeling before where I thought the snake was going to really just break my neck and it was over. So that’s part of the job.
You’ve got to put yourself in those situations sometimes and something like that will happen, but I’ve got to be prepared for it. I believe that God won’t put anything in front of me that I can’t handle and so that’s where I go. I go with my faith and I go to stand up for the rabbits and the mammals that don’t have a chance at all against these big snakes. So I think at least I got their backs.
George Dickie has been a features writer for Gracenote/Tribune Media Services since 1989, when “Hee-Haw” was still on the air and George “Goober” Lindsay was his first interview. His early interviews ranged from Jim Henson and Dick Van Dyke to Phil Collins and the Dixie Chicks.