Brisbane snake catcher shows who's the Boss
TO SAY snakes are sexy is going a step too far for most TV viewers, including myself.
But Julia Baker has certainly gone a long way towards making them less scary.
The Brisbane snake catcher is now a household name thanks to her hit TV series Snake Boss.
The show, which follows Julia's face-to-face encounters with dangerous reptiles, was a surprise hit for Animal Planet Australia last year.
The series is the channel's highest ever rating show and was sold internationally, as Snake Sheila, to a whopping 170 countries.
"Having high ratings means we've reached a lot of people with the message that we need our wildlife and that snakes are really important,” Julia tells me.
"It's changed my life in that it's made me more confident in what I'm doing. I know I'm on the right track.”
It's no surprise the mother-of-two has become a role model for many young girls and women.
Queensland is home to more dangerous snakes than anywhere else in Australia, and Julia is one of just a handful of women working in the industry.
"Not that many women probably want to be snake catchers, but I would like to be the role model for women who want to have more choices in jobs, you know, maybe they're thinking of being a truck driver,” she says.
"My biggest compliment is when parents write to me and say 'thank you for being a role model to my daughter'. That just makes me melt. The whole idea of my bucket list (which inspired me to become a snake catcher) was to be a strong role model for my daughter and to show her you can still be a lady and do whatever you want to do without showing cleavage.”
Julia returns in a second season of Snake Boss, now supported by Screen Queensland, on Monday.
"There are some incredible heart-warming stories with residents this year,” she says. "There was one family whose dog had attacked a snake. We took it to the RSPCA - it was a pet snake someone had dumped - and then the family put their hand up to adopt it.”
It's those sorts of outcomes that will bring a smile to the face of any wildlife lover.
Season two of Snake Boss premieres on Monday at 8.30pm Qld, 9.30pm NSW on Animal Planet.