You’re taking a stroll in the park, maybe enjoying the spring air, sipping a latte, and just marveling at the beauty of the outdoors. It’s a nice little day you’re having. Then, out of nowhere, you round a corner to be greeted by a snake that’s as big as you and your walking partner if you laid down end to end. That was the case for some folks in the Pittsburgh area yesterday when they were warned to stay on the lookout for a massive snake that was slithering fancy-free through local parks. And if the reports can be believed, this thing was massive. The great indoors can look pretty great sometimes.
The Pittsburgh Public Safety Department originally issued an alert through their Twitter account on Thursday for local residents to be on the lookout for a massive snake. They didn’t originally provide exact details, and you’d be correct in thinking that maybe they were just talking about your garden variety big snake, something out of someone’s home terrarium that maybe escaped.
You would have been wrong. Later, they updated the alert to provide a picture of what this snake actually looked like:
Um, yikes. This was the picture supplied to the Public Safety Department and this thing looks absolutely massive. It’s winding around the top of a tree and appears as it could easily devour you and your entire family without really even stopping to slow down. If this was the kind of snake you stumbled on in the woods out for a nice walk you’d begin immediately questioning your life decisions. Or at least begin thinking about saying your prayers.
Later, the Pittsburgh Public Safety Department gave a followup on the snake in question. They sent out this tweet which clarified in the species and allayed some specific concerns around the level of threat. Turns out it looked a lot worse than it actually was. Check out what they had to say about the situation.
It was said to be a Black Rat snake which doesn’t pose a specific threat to humans. Not in a life-threatening way at least. They are not venomous and kill their prey with massive constriction, but typically among species much smaller than the person. That being said, harmless is a relative term. They don’t specify what happens when you come across a Black Rat snake the length of a small car and immediately lose control of your bladder and central nervous system out of fear.
If this snake is something that might terrify you, then it’s been a bad month of news around the reptiles. We had reports of snakes living in people’s walls, slithering down busy city streets in England, and even some adapting to skirt the most time-tested of defense systems. So it’s been a solid short term for the snake family. Here’s to hoping you don’t round the corner and see this bad boy in your path. It may be harmless, but that doesn’t mean you can’t run away fast.