PICS: Snake City couple returns for fourth season
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Durban - Simon Keys and Siouxsie Gillett who have found a home in the resort town of Umdloti, on the north coast of KwaZulu-Natal will return for their blood pumping animal rescue show, Snake City, for a fourth season every Monday at 6pm on Nat Geo Wild.
The popular show was brought by the production company, Earth Touch, and has shown viewers all over the world the reality of diminishing snake habitants and the dangerous encounters the damage it could cause on the ecosystem as snakes are found in more strange situations.
Through Snake City, Simon and Siouxsie have been able to educate viewers about the dangers of facing snakes and also shed some light on the different types of snakes and their importance in the ecosystem. Moreover, they also educate people through Facebook Live sessions.
Season 4 will also be another exhilarating season as they remove a black mamba from under a child’s bed, save terrified nuns from a spitting cobra and Simon will face his greatest fear when saving a green mamba.
The couple was united by their love for reptiles and conservation three years ago.
Simon recalled how it all began.
“It started with just the one snake, and then I had a boa, some pythons, king cobras, spitting cobras, tailspins…at one stage I had 88 venomous snakes in my bedroom!” he exclaimed.
Simon started reading on the various snake species and gathered what is now his expert knowledge on snakes.
He relocated to South Africa where he started a snake removal service which was about 90 call-outs a month and up to 120 in some months. This encouraged Simon to find other sources of income which is when he contacted Earth Touch.
“They shot a promo of me going to a spitting cobra call-out and the director felt that there was really something great that could come from these rescues,” he explained.
After season one, Simon and his wife at the time, parted ways and Simon returned to the United Kingdom, where he applied for a position at a reptile shop owned by a herpetologist, Siouxsie, whom he had known in the snake industry for 14 years.
Siouxsie starred alongside Simon when he got the go ahead for season two.
The couple spend their time in South Africa and the United Kingdom.
They have two rescue dogs, 13 snakes, 20 arachnids, four meerkats, four bullfrogs, fish and a macaw.
The couple have built a name for themselves in the snake industry for their unbelievable rescues.
One that stands out is when they went to Inanda, inland of KZN for a python.
“It was an unusual scenario as the local residents believed the python was an ancestor returning. They didn’t want to disrespect the family who were adamant that the ‘grandfather’ could not be removed” said
Although they left, they were called back the next day.
“Apparently the python was eating the chickens, so we were asked to please remove it!” continued Siouxsie.
The couple have had heart stopping experiences where Simon was bitten by a snake and Siouxsie had a bad encounter with a python.