Episode 7: Rattlesnake Wrangler
Bo Slyapich, is a rattlesnake wrangler who has been managing a rattlesnake infestation in Southern California for the past five years. Bo started catching snakes over forty years ago with his neighborhood friends in Malibu Canyon. He has kept his passion for catching snakes and built a business in the entertainment industry by clearing locations prior to the arrival of the crew, & securing locations while filming. He has been called to hunt for, track down, & remove snakes who have bitten children, dogs, and adults.
How long have you been doing snake wrangling and how did you get involved in this kind of work?
Bo: I’ve always worked with the studios as a stuntman and a security coordinator. When I was a stuntman, every time I was on set and there was a rattlesnake, they always had me come and get it. About 30 years ago, we were shooting a show and locations came up to me and asked if I would mind sticking around for the next two weeks since they were running into a lot of rattlesnakes. In those two weeks, I managed to keep six rattlesnakes, five gopher snakes, and a gardener snake away from the crew. Finally she asked me if she could give my name out to other location managers and that’s how I got started in the movie business protecting crews.
About 15 years ago, I left the studios and went to the private sector to build up my private clientele so now I am able to work with both. I just worked with the crew from the show ‘Touch,’ and also got off the show ‘American Horror Story’ and a few others. I have a huge celebrity private practice, but also work for any emergencies in the studios that come up.
I understand that you have a connection to the entertainment industry. Have you caught any rattlesnakes for any celebrities?
Bo: Yes, I took care of Arnold Schwarzenegger when he was Governor at his property. I also took care of Howie Mandel, Brad Garrett , Sally Fields, Sharon Stone, Lisa Presley, and Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson. I took care of Ellen DeGeneres on her show and also Jamie Foxx when I went over to his house for a birthday for his four-year-old daughter. Boy, I have a list at home that’s probably 20 names long.
What does a regular day look like for you as a snake wrangler?
Bo: I never know what the day’s gonna entail. Right now I’m heading to Howie Mandel’s house. Then tomorrow, I work for the studios on a show called ‘Vegas’ protecting the movie crew on Thursday and Friday. After that, I’m headed to a home to help a lady put up snake fencing — she’s rebuilding it but the contractors won’t go up there because there are too many rattlesnakes on the property. Every day is an adventure.