Giant Rat Snake Causing a Stir in Columbia Neighborhood

8:22 AM, May 24, 2012   |    comments
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Columbia, SC (WLTX)- A black rat snake believed to be 10 to 15 feet long has neighbors in Heathwood taking a second look at their surroundings.

Andrew Philson spotted the black snake wrapped around a tree at his home on Devereaux Road, which is near Kilbourne Road, on Monday evening.

Leslie Alkire says news of the snake hit too close to home.

"I was driving down Devereaux Road and saw the wildlife removal truck and I realized that is the house with the snake...it is scary, truly scary."

Sean Foley, Herpetologist at Riverbanks Zoo, says he can't tell exactly how long the snake is by looking at the picture.

"Pictures can be deceptive... if I am just going to guess I would say it could be over 6 feet long maybe 7 feet, but that is a really big black rat snake and it is definitely a black rat snake."

Black rat snakes are harmless and Foley notes they are good to have around.

"Rat snakes are usually pretty calm around people. You don't have to do anything if you see one in your yard or around your house, all you have to do is let it go about its business and it is going to move off and go away on its own," says Foley.

"I hope they catch it, let's just hope they catch it," says Alkire.

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