SARASOTA (FOX 13) - Several hundred banded watersnakes took over Palmer Boulevard in Sarasota early Tuesday morning, according to the Sheriff's office.
Officers responded to calls about snakes invading the roadway in the Apex Road area. They arrived on scene to find many of the reptiles killed from motor vehicle traffic, due to the low visibility of early morning darkness preventing motorists from seeing the dark-colored snakes on the asphalt.
A representative from the sheriff's office told FOX 13, "We don’t have a concrete number of how many were there, although we’re thinking a couple hundred were deceased; we only saw a handful of living snakes."
With the help of county government employees, officers cleared the road of the deceased reptiles.The surviving snakes made their way to safety along the median, and eventually to a nearby pond.
The sheriff's office isn't sure exactly why the snakes ended up on the road, but they gave a theory in their Facebook post Tuesday afternoon, "We're told it's possible that the snakes were seeking warmth from the blacktop."
While happening upon hundreds of snakes can be a frightening situation, banded watersnakes are nonvenomous. But, they are often mistaken for their venomous cousin the water moccasin, or cottonmouth.
The University of Florida's Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation advises on their website, "Even non-venomous watersnakes will bite, so the best policy for dealing with snakes is to "leave them be" to play their important roles in our ecosystem."