PHOTO: Woman spots snake mating ball along popular Charlotte trail

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) — A Charlotte woman is warning people online after she stumbled on a snake mating ball while walking along the Little Sugar Creek Greenway in Charlotte Monday.

Christine Proffitt tweeted out a photo of what appears to be a mating ball of watersnakes along the greenway with the message: “Watch out on the greenway today guys.”

Proffitt said the photo was taken along the Greenway in Charlotte’s Midtown area near the Presley Uptown Luxury Apartments.

“My nice walk turned into a sprint race really fast,” Proffitt tweeted.

Proffitt provided CBS affiliate WBTV with two photos that she took of the mating ball, one which shows how close the ball was to the water.

“I would have taken more but I wanted to get out of there as fast as I could,” she joked. “As terrified as I was, my first instinct was ‘pics or it didn’t happen’.”

Several people on the greenway Monday night said they had previously encountered snakes in the same area.

Jogger Bryan Neil said he actually came across one Monday morning too.

“Right under the tunnel is a black snake, probably about three or four feet long that scared the crap out of me,” said Neil.

Others said they had never noticed a snake on any of the paths.

“I just worry about a couple geese up there. They get a little rabid sometimes, but no snakes,” said runner John Freeze.

There are 37 species of snakes that are native to North Carolina. Only six of them are venomous.

Based on the photos, these snakes appear to be a mix of Brown Watersnakes and Northern Watersnakes, but they are both non-venomous.

According to an expert from the Greensboro Science Center, if you don’t need to go where the snake is at that moment, then just kind of step back and walk away.

If you’re concerned because you have children or a pet, and you need to relocate the snake, there are a couple of things you can do,” he said. “For example, with a big black snake you can use a garden rake, and slowly get underneath it to gather it up, and set it in a tall trash can.”

“If you keep your yard and flower beds taken care of that’s a good thing. They don’t like to be out in the open much because of they’re exposed to predators,” he continued. “So keep woodpiles a little bit further away from the house. Try to keep the yard mowed and take care of weeds to give them less hiding places. It will also help keep some of their food sources away like rats and mice.”

David Crowe of Critter Control told WBTV that the northern water snake is the type of snake he sees the most in North Carolina. Crowe said that anyone who gets bit by a snake that could be venomous needs to go to the hospital immediately.

Copyright 2017 WBTV. All rights reserved.

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