Aussie snakes help save lives
IT'S not going to appear on any tourism adverts for Ipswich any time soon but, according to Venom Hunter Brian Barczyk, the region is home to some of the world's most venomous snakes.
The high density of snakes was what brought the American to Purga and Savages Crossing to film his Discovery Channel documentary, Venom Hunters.
"Savages Crossing was an important place to visit because the coastal taipan occurs there and they are very elusive," he said.
"We were looking for brown snakes, red belly blacks and spotted black snakes in Purga.
"It was pretty rugged terrain but was an amazing location to shoot in."
"At one point I caught one (snake) and as I was wrangling that I saw another one," he said.
During filming he and partner "Chewy" tracked and caught the potentially deadly snakes for their venom, which would be used for research and to make anti-venom.
"For us the medical research part was so big. You have venomous labs where research projects into Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease are being undertaken," he said.
"The protein in the venom help with numerous diseases and we have seen so many breakthroughs in the last five to eight years, rattle snake venom is used to help blood pressure for example. Imagine what we will see in the next five."
The documentary maker said Venom Hunters was designed to be entertaining but also to raise people's awareness about the often misunderstood reptiles.
"I have loved snakes my whole life," Mr Barczyk said.
"We are showing the animals have value and can save lives."
The Venom Hunters series premiered on the Discovery Channel on May 18 and airs Wednesdays at 7.30pm.
For more visit discoverychannel.com.au.