David Willot offered his services as a snake catcher to Hong Kong’s police force partly because of his concerns about the practice of calling out snake shop workers to remove problem snakes. The old deal was that the catcher would be given a small fee by the police for labour, and the right to do what they wanted with the offending reptile. That usually meant snake soup in a Sham Shui Po or Shueng Wan restaurant. Now partly through Willot’s and other conservationists’ petitioning, the caught snakes are delivered to Kadoorie farm for a controlled release back into the wild. It wasn’t a move that was popular with commercial snake catchers and there are still rumours that snake shop owners will arrive at a police removal with a rat snake in a hidden bag, ready to make a switch in case the target turns out to be a valuable cobra.