Despite more than 20 bites and hospitalisations, Dubbo's renowned snake expert Paul Kirk maintains his love for the slithering serpents.
Ever since he went for a walk with his dog one day, when he was an an 11-year-old boy in England, Mr Kirk has been fascinated with the creatures most of us cringe at the sight of.
His love of snakes led him to want to work as a reptile keeper, but he struggled to find a job.
When he left the armed forces after 16 years, Mr Kirk finally got at job at a zoo and did some security work before he moved to Australia in 1978.
"My mother was born here in Queensland so they couldn't stop me from coming," he said.
"We had two kids, six suitcases, about 3000 bucks to buy a clapped out Holden and we've never looked back.
"The Aussie's are very kind people, they don't let you know they're helping you."
Once he got to Australia Mr Kirk landed a dream job at Taronga Zoo in Sydney.
"It was like paradise for me," he said.
After more than a decade in Sydney, Mr Kirk ventured out west to Dubbo, where he worked at the Western Plains Zoo until he retired in 1998.
He lived between the city and country for a number of years and did some more work with reptiles at Australia's Wonderland before he settled permanently in Dubbo.
Now he travels around and performs his own reptile show. It enables him to share his passion with people who are less comfortable with snakes.
"It's not a business, it's a hobby but it doesn't matter it keeps me alive, it keeps me doing something I love doing," Mr Kirk said.
"I'm afraid Dubbo Hospital know me terribly well...and it's not a good thing. On the other hand they never ever tell me off, they try to encourage me to pack it all in because one of these days they think I'm gonna kill myself.
"The truth is I go there, I have the treatment for 24 hours and they let me go again.
"Now that's happened up to 23 occasions, but five of those occasions would have been life threatening... I lost my kidney function."
He was last bitten two months ago.
"Sometimes there's no pain at the wound and that comes later, but it's what it does to your insides [that matters most].
"It can stop everything from working."
Mr Kirk said some people have told him to give the snake game away but he loves them and "that's the end of the matter".
"It's against the law to kill snakes. That's a real 'no no', it's not necessary," he said ahead of the summer snake season.
"An injured snake will fight like hell.
"For goodness sake, don't try to touch it or pick it up.
"Just leave it alone."
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While he said the drought could lead to an increase in snakes, Mr Kirk did not anticipate a significant change compared to previous seasons.
"Last year, I am absolutely certain what they were doing was coming out at night time, doing their hunting then because it makes sense.
"It's just too hot for them."