Skip to comments.Snake tale: Slithering serpent's legend grows[South Carolina]
Posted on 06/07/2012 11:58:28 PM PDT by Theoria
It's the talk of at least one part of Columbia and it all started Tuesday with a phone call from a concerned neighbor.
Heathwood resident Andrew Philson got a call about a snake in his backyard and thought he'd be finding a small garter or black snake, but got the shock of his life when he saw the beast slithering up one of his trees.
That snake has slithered his way into the national spotlight. First, WIS, then CNN, Fox, even the Drudge Report. Why? Well, it's a big snake and who knows how long it had been sneaking -- or snaking -- around in Philson's backyard?
One thing Philson does know, the darn thing was huge. "I'm saying 15 to 20 feet long," he said.
Philson lost track of the snake shortly after taking the pictures, which have now shown up on TV monitors and web sites all over the world. They've also led to some criticism from people including South Carolina Department of Natural Resources snake expert Steve Bennett.
Bennett says it's a rat snake, plain and simple -- a common and useful creature and one that as far as anyone knows, never gets anywhere close to the size claimed by Philson.
"What happens is when people see these things, they are so shocked and probably scared, it changes their whole way of thinking," Bennett said.
Philson does not seem like someone prone to panic, even in the presence of an oversized reptile. A former state trooper, Philson recently served a tour of military duty in Afghanistan.
"I know that when I testified in court in my previous job, that accuracy counts," Philson said.
"People who are otherwise fairly honest and you know, straightforward people, will see something like that and just automatically overestimate and exaggerate the size of it," Bennett said. "It's just human nature.
A wildlife removal company is planning to conduct an all-out search for the snake on Thursday.
Massive snake. I know the camera adds ten pounds. But, it could be a record size native rat snake. The 15-20ft the 'witness' is describing, is well, absurd. But, it certainly is large.
Another article that has more news and videos.
“But, it could be a record size native rat snake.”
No, that would be the Rat’ snake from Kenya..
More like 8-10’. Still impressive.
If those bricks in the background are 8-inches long, I estimated over 13’ long. Without taking into account that the snake is closer - so probably longer than 13 feet.
Too bad the witness isn’t a woman, because there’s an old joke about overestimating the length of snakes based on what her husband has told her.
OOps - it’s late. I guess it would make the snake shorter than 13 feet. ;) But in the one with the 4x4 fence post, the snake still looks impressive.
Ought to leave the poor thing be, and enjoy living in a rodent-free neighborhood.
Note to self: Don’t move to South Carolina.
Note to self: Don’t move to South Carolina.
If they catch it, I’ll take it.
The snake-phobic neighbor killed the 8+ foot rat snake that’s lived around here for many years, last summer.
Now the mice and rats are running amok.
God made snakes for a reason.
It is magnificent.
“Come see!” ping
[Now, meet Renfield]
Yes, I've finally come over to the dark side...;]
Did you get a look at the “trees”?
They’re little saplings and that’s why it looked “huge”.
This guy is such a girl.
That is the cutest kitten!!! And I love his name. ;o)
Did you find Alice? Hope so!
No, Alice is still missing....:(
Renfield is a trip.
He is *so* self possessed.
[and possibly demon possessed but then he’s my first cat so maybe they *all* act demon possessed at times] LOL
Hubby has fallen in love with him.
I came into the bedroom to find Brom the Boa’s 7 foot climbing tree festooned with kitten toys on strings.
It looks like some kind of insane Christmas...tree trunk?
So far we’ve watched him play soccer and tether ball with his toys.
[I’m thinking cats are where humans got the idea for those games in the first place]
Ren is pretty cool, I gotta admit.
You could tell it wasn’t a SC redneck...because by the time the animal control people got their it would have been shot and skinned and two guys with beers would be trying to figure out how to grill it! LOL
What an idiot...it freaking kills me that people feel the need to kill every snake they see.
I’m sorry about Alice. He’ll show up when he’s darned good & ready, I guess. (But of course that doesn’t stop you from worrying!)
I love the name Renfield. So great. A couple of years ago, we lost our own crazy-possessed-insane black cat to old age and cancer (he was nearly 20). When he was young, our Ursus was a LUNATIC. He would zoom around the room like he had a rocket under his tail! And he had this great “possessed” look sometimes (not that he really was, of course — just the look). I miss that darned cat! . . . sigh. Anyway, enjoy your own little loon! He looks like a handful!
I pray every day for his return, as do many others, for which I am extremely grateful.
He’s left a hole in my heart that only his return can fill.
I hope Ren lives to be that old.
He’s only been here a few days and has already become part of the “soul” of this house.
And yes, he gets “zoomies”, too.
This first photo is his “Am I Demon?” face.
Such an intense little scowl.
I bet the little booger doesn’t even weigh a pound yet but you can’t convince him he’s ~not~ a black panther stalking his jungle domain.
We’d seen her in our root cellar a few days before and thought nothing of it.
Frankly, I was glad to see her again.
[she’s been living around my house since I was about 16 or so and was quite old and deserved to be left alone considering all the years she’d survived]
I was walking to get the mail one day and there was her decapitated body, lying in the dry stream bed.
She was huge and beautiful
[well, except for being headless, that is]
I cried the rest of the way back up the lane.
40-some years [maybe more] wasted because *somebody* is a -wimp-.
This same person told everybody he ‘killed dozens of copperheads in his basement’ when he first bought the house.
The house used to belong to my great-uncle and they were *milk snakes*!
My great-uncle used to bring me milk snakes and ring neck snakes from his basement all the time so I could play with them a while before turning them loose again.
We have a 4 foot sub-adult black rat snake living under the house, now.
I really hope it’s one of her babies.
At least part of her would still be here.
Yes, just put some tasty bait in the neighbors yards. ;-)
Your new feline overlord is ADORABLE!
[KPLers: Ping to post #13.]
Live and let live, I say. I don't even kill insects if they are outside my house and garden. Even when they get inside, we trap and release.
I was about to head to work one day and found a tiny 4" green snake in the street. I ran in the house and got a dustpan, then came out and scooped it up. I dumped it in the field at the end of our street. I hope it survived.
This guy needs to borrow Ava.........
Good grief...what are you people?
Those are roofing layers, not bricks....each ‘brick’ is likely 12” or more...so it is even bigger than your estimate.
Kute Kitteh Action Pr0n....:)
[Oh God...I can't believe I just typed "kitteh"]
And *still* utterly harmless.
Nay, better yet, incredibly beneficial.
Wish I had it here.
The "tree trunk" [aka scrawny sapling] *might* be 2.5-3 inches across.
I’m sure he’s still trying to convince her their tape measure is ‘wrong’.
I was talking about the roof of one of the other pictures with the roofing sections (not the architectural ones here).....there is another shed it seems in that picture.
the very last picture of the first post.....
I'm not too sure, but if one uses the shed as a comparison point, you will note that the siding (T-111) are usually 8' in height. When you factor in the Gambrel Roof that adds another (at least) 6 feet to the top and the snake in pic looks to be longer than that, this former Trooper might be accurate in his estimate.
The size of the tree is constant.
Photos lie when a *true* perspective/reference is lacking.
The guy "measured" the snake with his fear, not his brain.
Kitten in the house...snake on the loose...be careful.
Merely a different POV.
His own shed juxtaposed with his neighbor’s shed.
Exact same tree as shown by the vine growing on the fence.
The guy stood beside *the* tree and described the snake’s ascent to another branch, from which it disappeared from view.
He did not take photos of it on different trees.
There is only one scrawny little tree and one hysterically over-estimated snake.
I will never set foot in the hell hole again. Granted, I met some very nice people there but I met some of the worst I've ever seen. Don't eat at a fast food restaurant (if you even get served) and don't go in front of anyone in power.
Sorry for the rant but the snakes and cockroaches that infest SC are some of its more redeeming qualities.
If I've offended anyone from SC, my apologies but please, go see the rest of the nation.
It's called "Knotty Barn Siding" and is used to build those cheapo sheds you get at Lowes.
The point of the roof is no more than 10-11', *max*.
This one is 11' and is clearly much larger than the one in the photo.
Fear the Freeper Kitty Mafia!
The kitten’s in no danger from the snake, even if it were able to go anywhere the snake might be.
The snake can barely eat a medium sized mouse.
[and the snake is nowhere to be found, unfortunately]
Oh great...now you’re a mafia....LOL
[wait...wouldn’t that be a “Meowfia”?]
Have you considered getting a friend for Renfield? The only thing cuter than a kitten playing is two kittens playing together.
LOL! Absolutely purrfect!
Thank mew very much!
You will *not* assimilate me!
NO NO NO!!!!
I’m very happy to contribute to your insanity....;D
Yes, still praying for Alice’s return, of course.
Renfield sounds like a typical, insane, entertaining kitten. He’s a lucky little guy to have you and your Hubby.
He’s turning into hubby’s cat, really.
[say...what was the name of that Bond villain who always had the cat on his lap?]
Do you, by chance, “sound like a Yankee”?
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