Florida roads are home to rare snake species – Although the Florida pine snake is a long and intimidating creature, it is not often seen in the wild. However, a sighting was made in Ocala National forest — with a twist. According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute, a pine snake was observed Oct. 26 pushing another animal down its throat. It is located about 70 miles north from Orlando.
The institute posted a Nov. 19 Facebook message that stated, “An FWC… biologist was surveying an Ocala National Forest site when she came across a road intersection. She spotted something in the middle of the road.” The biologists discovered that the creature was a non-venomous Florida pine snake, which had swallowed a young eastern cottontail as it approached them.
According to the institute, the non venomous snake was not bitten and stayed on the road until it finished eating. Then, it slithered off. However, it didn’t stay there for long. It resisted logic and returned to the road. After taking “some close-up photos’ ‘, it then vanished again. Multiple photos were shared by the institute on social media. Some showed the snake with a disapproving expression while it stared into the camera.
The state claims that Florida’s pine snakes can be “powerful” constrictors, squeezing prey to death. They grow up to 7.5 feet and are considered “one of the most powerful snakes in eastern North America.” Florida has listed the species as endangered. FWC reports that the pine snake’s snout is pointed with a large nose and a prominent ridge above the eyes. This makes them look “mean”. This species can hiss very loudly when it is disturbed.
As of Nov. 25, 1,700 people had commented and responded to the news about the rare encounter at Ocala Forest. Some also shared their horror. Peyton Bibb Evans wrote, “I can’t see this.”