The West

Reptiles snake way to top of show
WA Herpetological Society president Brad Holland. Picture: Lincoln Baker/The West Australian

It was an image burnt into the mind of a six-year-old Bradley Holland - legendary naturalist Harry Butler landing at Perth Airport from a field trip to Barrow Island and handing him his first pet snake.

"My father worked with him (Butler) and I think my father told him about the interest I had in animals," Mr Holland said.

Fast-forward 30 years and the wildlife collection of Mr Holland, aka Ranger Red, has grown from that first Stimson's python to more than 100 animals, including reptiles, birds and dingoes.

The WA Herpetological Society president, who is also a chef at Kewdale Tavern, has caught snakes since he was 13 and is helping organise what he believes is the State's first reptile expo next weekend.

Mr Holland said the society's expo at the Cannington Exhibition Centre on Sunday would have some of WA's best snake, lizard, frog and turtle displays.

It would include environmental education exhibits, reptile products for sale, the chance to hold some animals and a workshop on building a python cage. Mr Holland also supplies animals for television and film appearances - his black-headed python Pamela is Alice Cooper's snake of choice for his Perth shows - and takes wildlife to schools, birthday parties and corporate events.

"It's amazing," he said. "The first time I did a nursing home I felt, 'This isn't going to work'.

"But I ended up coming away with more than I gave because they'd tell me stories about living on farms and everything."

The West Australian

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