Dry conditions could mean more venomous snake sightings, experts say


The ongoing drought could bring danger slithering right into Floridians' yards.

The dry conditions mean the most venomous snakes in Central Florida are on the move.

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Herpetologist Bob Cross said low water levels in many lakes and swamps means snake sightings are more likely to happen in neighborhoods.

“It’s very frightening to think that they’re that they’re that close to a house,” said Longwood resident Candy Bauer. "I don't feel the same about my backyard."

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She found a cottonmouth in her backyard this week and called Cross to relocate the animal.

“Usually when people saw that, it’s a harmless water snake," Cross said. "But in this case, the lady was right."

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He said the dry weather is forcing the cottonmouths and other snakes to seek water elsewhere.

"He’s going to be traveling like the gators,” Cross said.

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He said a bite from a cottonmouth would cause severe pain and swelling.

"We'd be calling 911 and a helicopter for you," Cross said.

The snake found in Bauer’s yard will be sent to a facility in DeLand which will use it to produce anti-venom.


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