Georgia Snake Catcher Goes Viral Finding One of the Rarest Snakes in Southern US

by Caitlin Berard
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(Photo by Vitalii Petrushenko via Getty Images)

For most of us, finding our passions in life takes years, even decades, of trial and error in adulthood. That wasn’t the case for wildlife enthusiast Christian Cave, however, whose earliest memories are of visiting the local aquarium, collecting bugs in mason jars, and, of course, soaking up every moment of The Crocodile Hunter and the amazing adventures of Steve Irwin.

He spent his childhood dreaming of exploring the world and getting up close and personal with the world’s most fascinating creatures, just like his khaki-clad hero. And once he arrived at Georgia’s Kennesaw State University, his snake, turtle, and spider dreams began to come true.

Alongside his friends, Ryland McGreevy and Bobby Hardin Jr., Christian Cave started Caveman Wildlife Crew. The three young men search far and wide for the southeast’s most incredible creatures, sharing their discoveries on TikTok. With 400K followers and over 5M likes, Caveman Wildlife is a resounding success, largely thanks to his undeniable enthusiasm for the creepy crawlies of the Georgia wilderness.

As many of their fans have echoed, the resemblance to Steve Irwin in Cave’s approach to spreading the gospel of ecology and conservation is uncanny. In one of their most recent videos, Christian Cave shrieked with joy upon encountering one of the rarest snakes in not just Georgia but the entire Southeastern U.S.

@caveman_wildlife

My encounter with the ghost of the sandhills…👻🐍 *IM A SEMIPROFESSIONAL TIK TOK! HARMLESS SNAKE*

♬ World’s Smallest Violin – AJR

“Oh my god!” Cave cried, hands cradling his head in disbelief. “Pituophis melanoleucas! This is the snake I’ve been looking for my entire life!”

“This is a non-venomous species of colubrid,” Cave explained breathlessly. “Bobby, my heart! I don’t know if I can do it. Oh my gosh! This is such a beauty! Look at the coloration! An absolute stunner!”

Georgia Snake Catcher Marvels at His Social Media Success

The budding wildlife expert went on to explain that the pine snake is “one of the rarest in all the Southeastern United States,” absolutely beside himself with excitement. The elusive Georgia snake is also “known as the Ghost of the Sandhills.”

Though their most popular video to date, the young snake catcher and his friends were already receiving tens of thousands of views on each post when the Georgia pine snake find went viral. And though he always dreamed to follow in the footsteps of the late Crocodile Hunter, Christian Cave still struggles to believe it’s a reality.

“It’s been crazy and I don’t know that I deserve any of it,” Cave humbly told KSU. “But I couldn’t ask for a better experience, traveling all over with my friends and letting people know about the importance of wildlife.”

According to Cave, the Georgia-based crew hopes to expand their educational content far beyond snakes and spiders. “We’re going to start putting out more entomology, more herpetology, more ichthyology, more ornithology,” Cave said. “We’re trying to hit all these different animal groups and even to get into plants and everything soon. [We want] a wider scope and a broader approach to wildlife education and conservation.”

As Ryland McGreevy explained, finding and documenting Georgia wildlife isn’t always as easy as it looks. But that has never and will never put a stop to their quest for critters. “Sometimes, we’re out there for like 8 hours and we don’t find anything,” McGreevy said. “But that’s just a part of it. The snakes or turtles or whatever are out there, but just not today. We keep going back and we’re not going to stop.”

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