FOR years, Chris Mthombeni has been saving families from deadly snakes that invaded their homes.

And Chris does not intend to stop anytime soon.

The snake catcher from Springs, Ekurhuleni has collected a variety of snakes from pythons to California King snakes.

He said it’s snake season and advised residents to call him or the authorities when they find snakes in their homes. Chris warned residents not to try and kill the snakes as they might attack.

“People get killed by shock rather than the poison itself. When you see a snake, just look where it disappeared to and call for help.”

He also advised standing 5m away from the creatures in case they spit poison.

“To check if there are visitors in your yard, look out for shed skin and its poo,” he said.

Chris has been catching snakes since 2001.

“I work with the SPCA and emergency services. They contact me when there are cases and in some instances, victims call me directly. I used to fear snakes growing up.

“I studied a nature conservation course and started having an interest in snakes.

“I realised snakes are actually harmless and retaliate when cornered,” said Chris.

He said opening a snake park is in the pipeline.

“I’m in the process of getting land where I’m going to build this project,” he said.

His wife Thandeka (39) said it was hard at first, but she’s now trying to compromise. “I still fear snakes, but surprisingly my two kids, aged five and nine, seem to be welcoming and are sometimes in their company with their father.”

She said that she sometimes went on calls with her husband, but remained in the car or with the owner of the affected house while her husband was catching the snake.