Wayne Cameron working for his own business, Reptrix Reptile
Wayne Cameron working for his own business, Reptrix Reptile

Snake catcher did own first aid after bite, died 50mins later

FRIENDS and family have spoken of their grief after Rockhampton snake catcher Wayne Cameron was killed by a Taipan bite on Sunday night. 

Mr Cameron's wife Jenny urged people who aren't familiar with the reptiles to stay away from them. 

 "If you don't know what you're doing, leave them alone," she said to the Morning Bulletin today. 

Mr Cameron was on a job catching a Coastal Taipan, one of the world's deadliest snakes, when he was bitten.

It is understood he was taken to Rockhampton Hospital however he later died. 

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His close friend and co-worker, Nicole Sloan was absolutely devastated when she found out snake catcher Wayne Cameron had "died doing what he loved".

The family friend confirmed Mr Cameron was at a job just off Moores Creek Rd when the incident happened.

He had been called out to capture a coastal taipan which had hidden itself in a duffle bag.

She said he thought the snake had just "grazed" his arm. She said he initially thought the taipan hadn't broken the skin but decided to head to Rockhampton Hospital after performing his own first aid.

Ms Sloan said she believed the hospital had run a series of tests which all came back negative and was about to head home when they took the bandage off the bite.

VIDEO: Why the Coastal Taipan is so deadly

But when his bandage was removed he convulsed and his heart stopped.

Ms Sloan said she and her family were all still in shock.

"He walked into hospital at 5.30pm and he was gone at 6.20pm," she said.

"I was talking to him two hours before...I was expecting him to walk through my front door.

"He died doing what he loved…he will be sadly missed."

Ms Sloansaid the coastal taipan (Oxyuranus scutellatus), or common taipan is a species of large, highly venomous snake of the family Elapidae. It is native to the coastal regions of northern and eastern Australia and the island of New Guinea.

>> Three vital steps for treating a snake bite

According to most toxicological studies, this species is the third-most venomous land snake in the world

The loss of the much-loved snake catcher has also affected the hospital staff, as he was once a nurse there.

Ms Sloan, who is a Rockhampton Wildlife Rescue worker, said Wayne was "absolutely amazing" and her go-to snake catcher.

"He was amazing, always there to help…he had started training my son into catching and releasing," she said.

"Apart from him we don't have many people in town (who catch snakes). He is a massive loss to our group and our town."

Ms Sloan said the devastating news came as a great shock to her as she had just talked to him two hours before he died.

"He was coming over after that job to drop off some rats for our snakes…I'm expecting him to walk through the front door because sometimes his jobs go late."

"It's never going to be the same without him..."

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