Simon Keys

Snake Handler & Behaviorist

Simon Keys is a professional snake-catcher. His passion for reptiles started at an early age in the UK. As a child he spent his weekends hunting down and catching newts and lizards. Over the years his fascination grew, as did his collection of reptiles. By the age of 30, Simon ran one of the largest exotic and venomous snake businesses in England—from taipans and vipers to rattlesnakes, kraits and mambas. 

With years of experience as a reptile behavior and snake-handling expert, he turned his passion to saving snakes' lives.  He now spends every summer in the tropical coastal city of Durban, South Africa, where he runs a 'snake rescue service.'  He has adapted his unique skill set and passion for snakes into an adrenaline-filled and dangerous business. By catching problem snakes and releasing them back into the wild, he is saving reptilian lives, snake by snake.   Together with his snake-catcher girlfriend, Siouxsie Gillett, their job is to hunt down and remove some of the world’s most dangerous snakes from within the city and its surrounding areas.  

Although each snake is a paycheck, no job is too big or too dangerous. The meager call-out fees means they’ll never get rich from doing this, but it's a career of passion. Their mission is to not only save and protect the snakes they love, but to also educate the city's inhabitants and help them understand and respect this hugely persecuted predator.

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