Snake Boss celebrates her slithery friends on national day

Published 10:00am 16 July 2022

Snake Boss celebrates her slithery friends on national day
Words by Ashleigh Howarth

Reptile lovers are celebrating their slithery and scaly pets, with today being World Snake Day.

Held every year on July 16, it’s an opportunity to celebrate all the different species of snakes and raise awareness about their preservation.

One person who loves snakes today and every other day is Julia Baker, better known as the Snake Boss.

Julia starred in the television series Snake Boss, has written a children’s book, and regularly performs at community events and celebrations with her four pythons – Mango, an albino carpet python; Sam, a black and gold jungle python; Monty, a carpet python; and Harley, a spotted python.

“I had never actually held a snake until I was 36 and was visiting Australia Zoo,” Julia says.

“I was standing in line to get a photo with the zoo’s big Burmese python, and I noticed some people were being negative and judging the snake, which really hurt me.

“As soon as they put that python around my shoulder, I just burst into tears because I loved it straight away.”

Following that encounter, and a few changes in her personal life, Julia decided to follow her true passions. She left her job as a baker and pastry chef to work with reptiles and children.

Today, Julia loves showing off her four snakes to wide-eyed children and adults, while also lessening any fears someone might have by allowing people the opportunity to experience holding a snake.

“I love seeing people’s faces light up when they see and hold the snakes.”

Crucial to the ecosystem

During her presentations and shows, Julia shares how important snakes are to the local ecosystem, and why people should not fear them.

“Snakes have a very important purpose in the ecosystem as they are crucial in keeping the rodent population down,” Julia explains.

“Rodents can easily multiply without predators, destroy crops and transfer diseases to us.”

While it can be an instinct to freeze or scream when a snake is around, Julia assures people they are in fact harmless unless being threatened.

“Snakes are really awesome creatures, and once you get to know more about them, you realise they don’t want to hurt anyone,” she says.

“If you see a snake in your garden, I consider that a privilege. I encourage people to watch it, take a photo and then leave it alone.

“Snakes don’t make homes in your garden, as they roam to where there is food.

“If you don’t have any food in your backyard, like guinea pigs or chickens, they will keep on moving.

“I don’t think people need to call a snake catcher every time they see a snake.

“But if it has been around for a few days, that is when I would suggest calling a snake catcher because it could be sick or injured.

“If the snake is in your house, you should call, but be sure to keep an eye on it because you don’t want it loose in your house.”

Snake Boss celebrates her slithery friends on national day

Interesting snake facts

Julia also loves sharing some unique facts about snakes, which she says always surprises people.

“One of the facts I tell people in my shows is that snakes don’t have eyelids, so you can’t tell when might be asleep,” Julia explains.

“That could be one of the reasons why children might try and pick up a snake, because they see it’s not moving.

“Another fun fact is snakes don’t have ears, so they can’t hear external sounds.

“Instead, they pick up on frequencies and rely on vibrations around them.

“That’s why I always tell people that yelling and screaming at a snake is no good.

“People also think their dogs bark will scare them off.

“My advice is, if you’re heading into long grass, always wear long pants and make sure you stamp your feet a lot.

“Unless a snake is being threatened, it will slither away peacefully.”

Follow Julia

Snake enthusiasts can follow Julia’s adventures by logging onto her website or streaming her show Snake Boss on Amazon Prime.

In addition, Julia will be bringing her reptile show to the Ekka for the first time this August.

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