Medicine man from Port Pirie helps bushfire victims

SLIPPERY: Good Samaritan medicine man Harrison Kent shows off his pet spotted python Lizzie after returning from his mission to Kangaroo Island to help bushfire victims. Photo: Phil Hensel
SLIPPERY: Good Samaritan medicine man Harrison Kent shows off his pet spotted python Lizzie after returning from his mission to Kangaroo Island to help bushfire victims. Photo: Phil Hensel

Snake-chaser and medicine man Harrison Kent, 18, returned from Kangaroo Island with a new perspective on the island's bushfires, having delivered free emergency supplies.

Harrison set off from Port Pirie in his ute packed to the brim with kindly-donated medical supplies bound for the ravaged island's hurt or displaced wildlife.

He cares about wildlife through his university studies and is an amateur snake-catcher.

He owns a pet spotted python called Lizzie.

He arrived at the busy Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park to deliver the goods.

"To get there you have to drive through the fire grounds and it was quite devastating to see areas where the fire had come through and just decimated the trees - there is nothing left but sticks in the ground," he said.

"But there were already some signs of new life coming back.

"The yacka bushes were starting to get green shoots on them.

"It was good to see that it is already starting to slightly, minisculely, recover."

After hearing that the wildlife park was accepting outdated medical supplies, Harrison began planning a trip to the island to deliver what supplies he could gather together, also putting out the call on Facebook.

"I was just overwhelmed by the generosity," he said.

Individuals and businesses from Port Pirie, Port Augusta and the Mid North donated to the cause. Harrison's passion for wildlife doesn't end there - he will begin a Bachelor of Science (animal behaviour) this month.

He hopes to work his way into either zoology or herpetology (the study of amphibians and reptiles).

He is training to become a licensed snake catcher - although his his lack of licence didn't stop him from getting a head-start at practising his trade.

"I used to watch naturalist Steve Irwin's videos and saw the way that he was catching and went out and started doing that on my own, much to the displeasure of my Mum and Dad," he said.

"I just go out walking and catch what I can."

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