A Melbourne snake catcher and self-appointed anti police corruption watchdog might be in trouble with the same police force he sought to expose after allegedly planting a snake at a Melbourne servo.
This week, Raymond Hoser, also known as the Snakeman (a name he values so much he fought gambling agency Sportsbet in court over an ad that used the phrase), posted pictures on Facebook of a tiger snake on a petrol boswer at a Melbourne servo.
“Spotted in Coles Express Servo Nunawading today,” Mr Hoser wrote on the post on Wednesday.
However, police were reportedly called when the service station management reviewed CCTV of the incident.
But a couple of hours later on Facebook, Mr Hoser wrote: “As per our wildlife license (sic) conditions, we used one of our surgically enhanced snakes instead for the photo posted online this week as a re-enactment in accordance with the law and the dictates of the state wildlife department.”
He said posting photos of snakes he caught as a wildlife controller online would “have us jailed” and claims he was re-enacting the removal of tiger snakes at other Coles Express servos at Cranbourne and Eltham “in the recent past”.
A Coles spokeswoman said that’s not the case.
“There have been no recent reports of snakes at any Coles Express stations in Victoria.
“Coles is assisting Victoria Police with their investigation.”
An employee at the Cranbourne location told news.com.au they did remember a snake catcher coming to remove a snake from behind the store (not on the bowser) some time in the past few years.
Mr Hoser also wrote that “by all measurable criteria” he himself is “the foremost expert on venomous snakes in the world” and claimed he has “verifiably caught more venomous snakes than anyone else in Victoria”.
He claimed to be “consistently the busiest snake handler in Melbourne and has been for decades” and that he “does catch deadly snakes daily”.
Mr Hoser said the snake he posted on Facebook was not venomous however.
“Anyone with half a brain would have seen that no wild tiger snake would ever look that good,” he said.
Mr Hoser was previously found to be in breach of his Commercial Wildlife Demonstrator Licence for letting two “devenomised” snakes bite his then 10-year-old daughter.
“She still seems alive and well this week,” Mr Hoser said in the 700-word statement on Facebook where he dismissed media reports of him “supposedly engaging in reckless conduct endangering lives” as “complete and utter bulls**t”.
He said he had “no hard feelings” over the story being “misreported” on 9 News in Melbourne, and blamed his competitors in the wildlife control business for engaging in re-enactments “to generate publicity for their law-breaking enterprises” which are then picked up by the media.
He has not been charged over the service station incident at this time.
Mr Hoser is the author of nine books he claims “the government has tried to ban”, including 1999’s 736-page Victoria Police Corruption and 2000’s 800-page follow-up Victoria Police Corruption 2.