Watch for snakes after hurricane passes
LAKE MARY, Fla. (FOX 35 ORLANDO) - Wildlife trappers are warning Central Florida residents to watch out for snakes after Hurricane Dorian passes. Storms and flooding, tend to drive the reptiles out of their natural habitats.
One trapper caught a cottonmouth in a Lake Mary yard on Tuesday. The venomous semi-aquatic snake is often referred to as a "water moccasin."
"All snakes, during flooding time, like to go to higher ground. They like to lay near the water but not in the water, so during storms and flooding, they all go to higher ground," explains trapper Bob Cross.
This snake was found next to a garage door.
"The lady opened the garage door and took a step out and there it was in front of her. She's very lucky, actually. She stepped within two feet of the snake -- a good-sized snake as well," Cross adds.
The cottonmouth is four feet exactly, and "any cottonmouth over four feet is a respectable snake," says Cross. The snakes can grow up to six feet in length.
"Younger ones are colorful and people don't even recognize them as cottonmouths, but as they get older, they turn darker and this snake is almost all black and I'm guessing he's ten years or more<' he said.
Cross advises people to be careful when cleaning up after the storm moves through, because snakes like to hide underneath palm fronds and other debris. If you're bitten by a venomous snake, call 911.
"The chances of dying these days are slim. Venom versus body mass. If you have a big snake like this one, and then take a small child, it's life and death. It's going to be tough," Cross adds.
Cross says adults would be hospitalized and in a lot of discomfort.
"Probably a week and first few days would not be fun, but we would make it. So body mass versus venom."