The past summer has been bigger than ever for snake catcher Jake Hansen, who runs a 24 hour snake removal service in Orange with his brother Sam Hansen.
The duo respond to calls to remove venomous snakes from properties, relocating them to Mt Canobolas or other habitats where they're unlikely to be disturbed.
Hot temperatures, increased awareness of the service, as well as the city's expanding residential area meant more calls to remove unwanted visitors from yards, homes and pools.
With around 100 snakes caught over summer 2017-18, Mr Hansen said his prediction for when the final numbers are in this period was for an even bigger head count.
"We were busier than last year," Mr Hansen said.
There's always an element of risk when you're dealing with wild animals thoughJake Hansen
The pair's busiest months were December and January, with the highest number of calls coming from North Orange.
Mr Hansen said houses going up quickly and close to wetlands makes the new residential areas more vulnerable to visits from snakes.
"When we clear land and build houses we often build on snake habitats which means snakes will be disturbed," he said.
Highland Copperheads, Red-bellied black snakes and Eastern brown snakes are the most seen snakes in Orange.
VIDEO: Jake Hansen does a Steve Irwin:
Mr Hansen said the cold climate means less variety in snake breeds and all three breeds he most often removes are venomous.
More than half of his removal jobs over the summer was for the most placid of the bunch, the Highland Copperheads, whose bite is defined as mildly toxic for Australian snake standards.
While the copperheads are the most likely to be found in town or close to the outskirts, they are also the most likely to shy away from humans.
Red-bellied black snakes show up less in Orange but are a little more dangerous, Mr Hansen said they tend to like the habitat around the Clifton Grove area.
The Eastern brown snake - the most venomous of the bunch - is also found on the outskirts of town.
Although they're less likely to back down if they feel threatened, Mr Hansen said there was no real hairy moments over the busy period.
"I can count on my hand the number of legitimate close calls I've had, we always practice caution and try to be safe," he said.
"There's always an element of risk when you're dealing with wild animals though."
Mr Hansen said he's motivated to do the dangerous work as he's been a reptile lover since he was a boy and because there's too much misinformation out there about snakes.
"We're in their environment. I do it to teach people how to live amongst snakes," he said.
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