LAKE MARY, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - Think venomous snake season is over? Think Again.
On Wednesday, a Lake Mary toddler was playing on his family’s screened-in porch when he came within inches of a small Cottonmouth snake that had gotten inside.
"My three-year-old was taking a little weed pile and putting it in a bag,” said Wendy Villagomez, “and started hollering for me, screaming in fact, 'there's a snake, there's a snake!'.”
The mom rushed onto the porch where she said the snake was coiled on top of an old stump; inches from where little Cohen had been reaching.
Trapper Bob Cross was called to the home where he quickly identified the snake as a juvenile Cottonmouth. The snake was only about a foot long, but Cross said its bite would easily send a grown adult to the hospital for several days and may be fatal to a child of Cohen’s size.
Cross said the close call is a reminder that venomous snake season, though slower this time of year, continues in Central Florida.
"The snakes do not hibernate in Central Florida; it just doesn't get cold enough. They try to go for cover,” he said.
So, he said if they can find a way into a screened in porch or under some other cover on a cold or windy day, they’ll show right back up when the weather warms up again.
Cross said this time it’s just lucky that little Cohen was smart enough to spot the snake as a danger and not a toy.
Like all the snakes he captures, Cross said Thursday that he will relocate the Cottonmouth to the Reptile Discovery Center in DeLand where its bite can be used to make antivenom.