Snake catchers at war: Turf dispute erupts over false calls and other dirty tricks as veteran reptile fighter claims rivals ‘have it in for him’
- Experienced snake catcher calls competitors
- Rolly Burrell said they use dirty tricks
- The veteran from Adelaide has had enough
A seasoned snake catcher has called out his competitors over a dirty tricks campaign targeting him in what he says has become a “nasty industry.”
Rolly Burrell runs his prominent Snake Catchers Adelaide business in the southern parts of Adelaide, the Hills and Fleurieu areas of South Australia.
But the 50-year-old industry peer said he was at his wit’s end after claiming his company was swamped with multiple bogus calls from rivals.
Mr Burrell told Daily Mail Australia that competitors have been undermining his business for the past six years with relentless fake phone calls.
He said the behavior was “enough to drive you crazy” and added that his customers have told him that his rivals are targeting him.
Rolly Burrell (pictured) said competitors have been undermining his business for the past six years with the incessant fake calls
Snakecatcher veteran Roger Atkinson (pictured) has berated his younger, inexperienced competitors for branding themselves big and “talking rubbish” on social media
Mr. Burrell’s business, which also does training and wildlife removal, has built a strong customer base over 40 years, including winning major government and mining contracts.
“It’s because we’re so big they like to play tricks on us – it’s a nasty industry and I’ll be happy to get out of it,” said Mr Burrell.
Mr Burrell said his tires had been stabbed twice in the past two years and he had endured prank calls ‘every second night’.
“Someone will call and say they have an anaconda in their pants chasing their wives — it’s going on last year, the year before and back again,” he said.
He has also been called to vacant lots in the middle of the night.
These days he just ignores the midnight calls.
Roger Atkinson is another area veteran who has spent the past 30 years running his Ace Snake Catchers business in the northern Adelaide, Hills and Barossa areas of the state.
The self-proclaimed Hulk Hogan lookalike has berated his younger, inexperienced competitors for branding themselves big time and “talking rubbish” on social media.
“It’s about putting it on Facebook and looking good,” said Mr. Atkinson
He said he was one of three snake hunters who served Adelaide until online rookies, who he said “know everything,” flooded the market claiming to be experts.
“It’s about putting it on Facebook and looking good,” Mr Atkinson told Daily Mail Australia.
“We all have to start somewhere, but they think they know everything and an ordinary onlooker would just believe what they say.
“Well, I’ve been doing it for 30 years and I don’t know everything.”
The 72-year-old, who has never been bitten by a snake, said when he started he had to train intensively for eight weeks.
“But now anyone who wants to do the course only has two days of training.”
Meanwhile, Mr Burrell said police have not been contacted about the tire incidents.