A snake catcher who featured in a viral video removing a giant python from a Queensland home has revealed she might step away from the trade after being targeted with abuse online.
Charlie Bear was called out to a Mission Beach home in the state’s far north on Friday to remove a giant 40kg, 5.5m scrub python.
The clip was filmed by the homeowner’s friend, Megan Prouse, and the video quickly circulated across the globe when it was uploaded to Facebook. It has since amassed over four million views.
While many were in awe of the braveness and effectiveness of the snake catcher when tackling such an imposing predator, there was a handful of users who berated Ms Bear for her methods during the catch.
“Don’t understand why you have to belt it in the head when the scrubby comes out of the tiny ass bag you’ve provided,” one of dozens of Facebook comments read referencing the snake’s treatment.
Ms Bear has defended her actions during the catch, saying her conduct and that of another snake catcher was more than reasonable considering the circumstances.
“The scrubby was not abused,” she wrote in a Facebook post.
“A tap on the head generally makes them recoil back. At no time was the snake in danger.”
She said despite the snake appearing to struggle to fit in the bag, there was plenty of room and the snake was in good health during its release.
“Four grown men would have struggled doing what two of us did.”
Criticism has lasting effect on snake catcher
The snake catcher revealed the “very disturbing and threatening messages” she has received has made her reconsider her future in the business.
“Since the catch I have been in so much pain to the point I’m not sure I could do that again,” she said, noting she didn’t take any payment for the catch.
Ms Bear told Yahoo News that the abuse has affected her mental health and has left her temporarily unable to work.
“It has taken a toll on me. The threats have left me scared for my life,” she said.
“The abuse received is absolutely ridiculous. Right now I’m very sad and angry.”
Ms Prouse said she regrets sharing the clip in the wake of criticism directed at Ms Bear and even herself online.
“It’s absolutely disgusting,” Ms Prouse told Yahoo News.
“We’ve both received a lot of abuse over this.”
She said people who weren’t there and don’t know the full situation shouldn’t be casting their judgement.
“The fact that people take time out of their day to harass someone they don’t know, from the safety and anonymity of their computers, makes me really sad,” she said.
“We’re real people with real feelings. It’s pathetic. I feel so guilty towards Charlie, I wish I could take back the video.
“This type of bullying has to stop. It has very real consequences.”
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