'Monster' diamondback rattlesnake spotted in Florida

posted by John Elliott -

By Madeline Farber| Fox News

Derek Tyson and his family first spotted the rattler on Sunday, he told Fox News.  (Derek Tyson )

A massive Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake was spotted in Florida over the weekend.

The snake slithered across a 10-foot golf cart path near the K9s For Warriors facility in Ponte Vedra, according to Derek Tyson, who first spotted the rattler.

Derek Tyson@DerekJTyson

Hey @k9sforwarriors, saw this large Eastern Diamondback rattler over by your facility on Sunday afternoon. Be careful with your dogs!

1:28 PM - Apr 1, 2018

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Tyson told Fox News on Tuesday that he was out for a drive with his wife and 5-month-old child when the family noticed the “monster” serpent. 

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“We drove by it, but did a U-turn and came back to take pictures,” he said.

Tyson said that he’s seen several other snakes in the area before, but Sunday marked the first time he’s ever seen an Eastern Diamondback. 

“[The rattlesnake] hasn’t affected any of our operations of any of our dogs, it’s not [currently] a threat to us,” Brianna Ehrhart, the education coordinator for K9s for Warriors, told Fox News.

However, Ehrhart said that this is the first time a rattler has been spotted so close to the organization’s grounds.

Tyson said that the rattler was slithering across a 10-foot wide golf cart path.  (Derek Tyson)

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“Safety is always at the forefront,” she said, adding that grounds maintenance has been made aware of the serpent.

The sighting comes just days after an Oakleaf woman spotted a roughly 6-foot rattler, according to News4Jax.

Dan Maloney, the deputy director at Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, told Fox News that it’s not uncommon to see rattlesnakes in Jacksonville, adding that Eastern Diamondbacks are just one of the many types of rattlers in the state. Locals will have a greater chance of spotting a rattlesnake as spring temperatures continue to climb, he said.

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If you do come across one of the serpents, Maloney said it’s best to leave it alone and call a removal service. People with pets and small children should especially keep their distance, he added.

“They don't want to encounter you if they don't have to -- they would rather save their venom for something they’re going to eat rather than having to fight someone off,” he said. “Give them as much space as you can.”

Madeline Farber is a Reporter for Fox News. You can follow her on Twitter @MaddieFarberUDK.

 


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