Russell Cavender, better known as “The Snake Chaser,” has always had a love and fascination for animals and wildlife. At the age of three, he caught his first snake, and at the age of seven caught his first venomous snake!
Russ can always be found helping orphaned animals. He also takes part in bird and wildlife conservatory groups.
Today, you’ll find Russ doing what he loves as a Nuisance Wildlife Control Specialist along the Grand Strand. Since 1993, catching snakes and wrestling alligators is all in a day’s work for The Snake Chaser! Along with snakes and reptiles, Russ also specializes in the control of hornets, yellow jackets, pigeons, raccoons, opossums, moles, bats, feral cats, bobcats, and squirrels to name a few.
When Russ was asked to talk about one of his most memorable service calls, he fondly remembered the "Rooster" call. He explains, " My favorite service call ever occurred in the mid to late 90’s. I received a call from a somewhat elderly gentleman, who proceeded to tell me that he had a rooster trapped in his attic. I was a bit skeptical, and I gave a little laugh and said “yeah, and your refrigerator’s running too… Ha-Ha…” He passed the phone to his wife, and she began to tell me the details of their situation.
It began when they heard this rooster crowing in their attic about a week before they called me. They told me other people had heard it also, including a few of their neighbors and their daughter who was a vet. They would hear this rooster crow at around noon every single day. So, the lady asked me to come, and she was willing to pay me to crawl through her attic to remove a rooster, which by all accounts should have died from starvation by that time. She said that I should be there by 11:30 am, so I would hear the rooster crow at noon.
The next day I arrived at their home at 11:30, and I introduced myself and began to walk around the house, wondering how this whole situation could even be possible. I noticed that the attic stairs had been lowered. And, this, I assumed, would let this poor hungry rooster free. After a general inspection of this home indicated to me that a tick would have a hard time getting in this house, this would have to be some magic fowl! They invited me in, and they commenced to tell me in more detail what was happing--- they would be in one room and hear it in the kitchen… they would hurry to hear it better, but it the crowing would never last long enough to pinpoint it’s location. If they would be on the phone talking, the person on the other line could hear it also, but it only would last a short while.
As noon approached, we all sat down at their dining room table anxiously waiting for the rooster to crow, simply chatting about this and that. (Of course in my mind, I must have gone through every possibility… Were these people nuts? Could someone have placed a rooster up there with enough water and food to last this long?) Then, all of the sudden, came this noise! And, yes, sure enough it was a rooster crowing! The old man stood up and started pointing straight towards the ceiling and said “you hear that, it’s coming from above us!” As he pointed up, I noticed that his watch was flashing...on the face of the watch, flashing on and off along with its “crowing,” was that rooster! It was the very rooster that had been driving these two people crazy for the last 8 or 9 days! When I pointed to his wrist and told him this, he looked at his watch, looked at me, and just shook his head. His wife said urgently, “what is it, what is it?” When he placed the watch to her ear, her eyes just rolled, and she said words that I did not expect to hear! I smiled, they smiled, and then we laughed.
It turns out that the wife had purchased some pillows through TV or a magazine someplace, and with her purchase, she received a free watch--- a rooster alarm watch! This watch was preset to “cockadoodledoo” every day at noon! The reason they would hear the crowing coming from the kitchen was because he’d been washing the dishes and took his brand new watch off, and he placed it on the counter so it wouldn’t get wet!
As she was paying me for all my hard work, (back then it was $ 40), she said that was the best $40 she had ever spent! I told her that I would tell their story as many times as I possibly could! And, I have. I have a lot of stories to tell, but this is my most favorite.
The Snake Chaser