Snake catcher’s good deed ends in licence trouble
A SNAKE catcher with good intentions has found himself in strife after police and a park ranger came to investigate.
Dylan Wood, a professional snake catcher from the Scenic Rim, was with his children near Mount Glorious when he spotted a species of blind snake on the road.
He stopped and was found holding the snake when the park ranger and a police officer came across him and his children.
Wood appeared at Ipswich Magistrates Court on Monday charged with three offences under the Nature Conservation Act.
Dylan Christopher Wood, 28, from Harrisville, pleaded guilty on Monday to taking a protected animal (Typhlopidae) at Mount Glorious (Laceys Creek) in the Caboolture region on January 30; and two counts of keeping a protected animal (Morelia spilota) when not authorised on February 2 at Harrisville.
No police facts were read onto the court record.
Prosecutor Sergeant Nicholas Turnbull lodged written facts with Magistrate Dennis Kinsella.
Wood said he had already read the police facts and did not contest them.
Sgt Turnbull said Wood assisted police and a fine between $400-600 was adequate.
A conviction was not sought because of the circumstances of the offence.
"What were you doing," Mr Kinsella asked after reading the facts.
"I picked it up to move it off the road," Wood said.
"I said that to the ranger."
The court heard that a person must be licensed to handle protected species, and Wood, while previously having held the correct licence, had failed to renew it.
"He's picked up a snake and started moving it," Sgt Turnbull said.
"The other animals he had taken those snakes when permitted to do so but the permits ran out."
Mr Kinsella said that being a snake catcher, Wood obviously had an appreciation of these reptiles.
He then shed some light on the agreed facts, saying that the police and a parks ranger were doing patrols of the Mount Glorious area at the time.
"You were with your children. You had a snake hook and one child held a whip snake," he said.
"I understand you were trying to move it.
"Your motivation was well-intended but breaches legislation."
Mr Kinsella said that on February 2 police went to his home and Wood was found with three pythons and one bearded dragon.
"You were (previously) permitted to have these. Instructions are that you are suitably qualified but let your licence expire."
Mr Kinsella said that because of that he would be dealt with very differently than people who gratuitously took native wildlife for their own entitlement.
He was fined $450 with no conviction recorded