SNAKES may be dangerous but injuries and snake deaths are avoidable with professional handling, said self-described snake doctor Kane Anderson early this week.
A brown snake had been spotted in the Mullumbimby Community Gardens, where toddlers and their parents were happily wandering, picking veggies and herbs from the "Food For All" section.
Dressed in protective footwear, requiring absolute silence and minimal movement as he worked, Mr Anderson demonstrated to fascinated onlookers how to safely remove a snake.
He began by drenching the snake's surroundings with water to compel the slithery creature out from beneath the earth where it had burrowed.
Mr Anderson then used a long stick with a claw to grab the snake as it emerged from the garden bed and, keeping it at arm's distance from his body, placed the 1.7 or so metre long snake into a waiting sack attached to another long stick, which he used to roll the sack closed.
"I didn't expect it to be this big," he said after the 10-minute operation.
"I don't get nervous beforehand but I'm feeling the adrenaline now that I've seen how big it is."
He identified the snake as an eastern brown and said he would take it to a rescue centre before using it in teaching demonstrations.
The Northern Rivers' Snake Doctor said common errors made by other catchers included not having a first aid kit nearby and treating snakes with aggression.
When asked for advice on how to handle a snake he said: "Don't. Treat all snakes as venomous and call a professional."