Officials offer theory for hundreds of snakes reported on Sarasota road


SARASOTA, Fla. (AP) – Officials say hundreds of the slithering snakes took over a Sarasota boulevard Tuesday.

The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement that authorities received calls about dozens of banded watersnakes invading Palmer Boulevard.

Deputies found many of the snakes had been killed by motorists, who were unable to see the dark-colored reptiles on the asphalt during the early morning hours.

While it’s unclear exactly how many snakes were on the roadway, deputies say a couple hundred were dead and only a few still living. Those surviving made it safely to the median and the roadway was cleared.

Although officials are unsure why the snakes ended up there, Sarasota County officials say they drained water from the pond off Palmer Boulevard in preparation for Hurricane Matthew. Florida Fish and Wildlife officials say this may be why the snakes are on the move.

Another theory is they may have been seeking warmth from the blacktop.

Banded watersnakes are nonvenomous.

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