LIFE-SAVER: Ram Chandra with a black head python and (right) the cover of a book about his work.
LIFE-SAVER: Ram Chandra with a black head python and (right) the cover of a book about his work. Peter Holt

1988 FLASHBACK: Bundy wowed by visit from snake man

UNSUNG hero Ram Chandra was a very special breed of man.

He was one of those dedicated people who devoted their lives to the betterment of others, according to a piece on his life in Mackay's Daily Mercury.

For nearly 45 years Ram Chandra sacrificed his living standards and jeopardised his own life for the cause of research and teaching about snakes.

Following a spate of unknown snake bite deaths in Queensland, Mr Chandra discovered taipans as the culprit and as part of his research and the risks he took, helped develop an antivenene that has saved dozens of lives since 1955.

But he was also an educator.

 

No Caption
No Caption

That education was enjoyed by many when Mr Chandra came to what was then Sugarland Shoppingtown (now Stockland Bundaberg) in 1988, 10 years before his death.

Mr Chandra, who came to be known as the "Taipan Man", set up an information stand and put some of his scaly friends on display at the mall for six days in March that year.

The NewsMail reported that both adults and children were thrilled with his show.

The paper reported he'd been educating locals on snakes and even giving lectures on Thursday evenings and Saturday mornings.

Mr Chandra's success in saving lives came with a price - in 1965 the accumulated effects of years of snake bites caught up with him, leaving him paralysed from the waist down, but he fought back against his ailments to continue giving lectures and information the public.

At the time, he told the NewsMail he wanted to keep teaching people about snakes so he could "take the fear out and save somebody's life".

"A lot of people do get bitten and do survive, but that one time when it is a venomous snake is enough," he said.

In his life, Mr Chandra gave many lectures on the recognition of venomous and non-venomous snakes and the life-saving treatment of snake bites to hundreds in the medical profession and to many children and adults - his trip to Bundaberg just one on his mission to increase understanding around snakes at a time when they were seen more as an enemy than part of nature.



Police on scene at two-vehicle crash at Kepnock

premium_icon Police on scene at two-vehicle crash at Kepnock

Police attending two-vehicle crash at Kepnock

Why women are socking it to the rhetoric of Alan Jones

premium_icon Why women are socking it to the rhetoric of Alan Jones

Shock jock out of line with 'shove a sock down her throat' comment

Dad shares heartbreak after son's fatal crash

premium_icon Dad shares heartbreak after son's fatal crash

Dad's heartbreaking post after son dies in crash