George wants a snakemobile

GETTING ITS MEASURE: George the snake catcher with his old vehicle.
GETTING ITS MEASURE: George the snake catcher with his old vehicle. The Northern Star Archives

THE Holden Rodeo dual-cab ute George Ellis used to get to snake call-outs around the Northern Rivers has died.

The Byron Bay snake catcher said when he took the ute to mechanic Warren Simmons to be repaired he thought he would drive it again soon.

"The mechanic said it was not worth repairing," he said.

Currently averaging four call-outs a day, Mr Ellis is relying on a borrowed Honda CRV. But he can only use it till the end of the week.

After then Mr Ellis said he won't be able to respond to any snake call-outs.

"Unless a company or an individual steps forward and says 'Here's a car you can use', the public won't have me."

Mr Ellis has been relocating reptiles around the Northern Rivers since 1996.

In his 17 years bagging reptiles, Mr Ellis said he had caught more than 8370 snakes.

In the past seven years the Rodeo, donated to him by a friend in Sydney, had clocked up hundreds of thousands of kilometres.

"It would be very ironic I think if after all these years, I had to stop dead in my tracks because I have no transport."

After recently catching his 3000th brown snake, Mr Ellis said this year's snake season had been very busy.

"If the weather remains dry it is going to be a legendary season for the deadly brown snakes."

To continue his work Mr Ellis is appealing to the public to donate him a vehicle.

"Ideally a dual cab ute would be great, because I can put snake bite victims in the back seat and transport the snakes in the back."


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