April 20 (UPI) — A North Carolina man who nearly picked up what he thought was a black garden hose outside his home said he abandoned his plan when he realized it was a 6-foot snake.
Brian Walsh said he was at his Huntersville home when he spotted what he thought was a length of black garden hose in the yard.
Walsh said he was only a foot away from the object when he realized it was actually a large black snake — and it was alive.
“The sheer size of it! At first, it completely caught me off guard and not going to lie — terrified,” Walsh told the Charlotte Observer.
Walsh’s wife, Tiffany, posted a photo of the serpent on a Snake Identification Facebook group and members said the 6-foot animal was an eastern rat snake, a non-venomous species.
“We’ve come across black rat snakes before, never this large,” Brian Walsh said.
The Walshes said that while rat snakes have been known to bite, they are not considered dangerous to humans. They decided to allow the snake to remain on their property because rat snakes are known to help control pests such as rodents and other snakes.
“It’s harmless and helps keep mice and other undesirable snakes at bay,” Tiffany Walsh said. “It’s clearly been around a long time, so it must keep its distance most of the time.”