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The Critter Capture Services Story

© Critter Capture Services

Bob Cross has been studying herpetology since he was eight years old and living in Winter Park.  It all started when young Bobby went on a camping trip with his Cub Scout troop.  While camping, the scout leader took the scouts canoeing on the Econ River.  Eight year old Bobby spotted a large snake lying on the river bank and pointed it out to the scout leader.  The scout leader slipped quietly out of the canoe into the water and swam slowly towards the snake.  With a lightning fast move, he grabbed the 4 ft. Brown Water Snake and returned to the canoe.  Bobby was extremely excited and asked if he could keep the snake.  Upon returning to the camp site the scout leader put the snake in a duffle bag.  The next hurdle for Bobby was going to be convincing his parents to let him keep it.  Once Bobby got home, the scout leader was able to convince Bobby’s parents that the snake was harmless and would make a good pet.  From that day on, Bobby started collecting and studying reptiles.


When Bob became a teenager, his family moved to Maitland where his love for reptiles continued to grow.  Every day after school Bob would hunt for snakes and bring them home to keep in his bedroom.  At one point he had over 20 snakes in his bedroom which were kept in aquariums, cages, jars and sacks. 


Bob’s parents were very understanding until one particular day that would change the way that Bob kept his snakes.  On that particular day, Bob got up early to go fishing before school, and instead of catching any fish he caught a 5 ft. Eastern Mud Snake.  This is where the story gets interesting.  Since Bob was in a hurry to get to school and he didn’t have any cages large enough for the Mud Snake, he decided to turn it loose in his bedroom and close the door.  As a young teenager and not knowing that snakes can squeeze through very small holes, he closed the door and left for school.  What Bob didn’t realize was that his mother was having 11 ladies over that day to play cards.  Well, sometime during the card game, the Mud Snake squeezed under the bedroom door and crawled down the hall and into the living room where the ladies were playing cards.  No one knows exactly what happened next except that when Bob got home from school his mother told him that he needed to move all of the snakes outside.  This was the turning point for Bob and his collection of snakes.  Bob and his friends decided to build a snake pit in his backyard that was 10’ x 10’ with a pond, rocks and bushes.  Once completed, they proceeded to fill the snake pit with 180 snakes.


As years went by, Bob began giving lectures about snakes to schools, civic groups and scouts.  This was also the point in Bob’s life when he started collecting venomous snakes to sell to reptile farms.  Bob presently holds the record for the largest Water Moccasin ever caught in Central Florida in 1978, measuring 5’6” in length, 11” in girth, and weighing 8 lbs.


Now as a grandfather, Bob enjoys educating others about the habitat, care and safety of snakes and especially teaching young children the danger of picking up snakes. In March of 2015 Bob decided to start a nuisance wildlife animal removal company called Critter Capture Services.



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