NEW TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A New Tampa family has had more than its share of snakes visiting their home. The most recent was a 5-foot-long venomous cottonmouth snake that gave homeowner Rebbeca Burns quite a scare.
The snake showed up in September after the Tampa Bay area saw heavy rains. Burns had just come home from work and was walking from her car to her home when she saw the big black snake on the walkway that leads to her front porch. “I recognized it instantly as a cottonmouth,” said Burns.
Burns couldn’t get into her house because of the snake, so she texted her husband who was inside the home and let him know there was a snake outside and not to open the front door. Burns feared for the safety of her children and the family’s dogs, who might try to go outside.
Burns and her husband then went to the garage and got some shovels to defend themselves. Then Burns called a trapper. She texted a photo of the snake to the trapper who identified it as a cottonmouth and asked Burns and her husband if they could keep the snake contained until he arrived.
“I didn’t have anything to protect me, I didn’t have any rubber boots,” Burns recalled.
Luckily, the big snake stayed in one place until the trapper arrived about 30 minutes later.
Burns recorded video of the trapper capturing the snake. He told her it was one of the largest cottonmouth snakes he’d ever seen. The trapper took the snake away and said venom would be taken from the snake and would be sold to be made into antivenom, which is used as an antidote for snake bites
Burns said this was actually the second time a cottonmouth snake had made its way onto her property. The first was discovered on her front porch. No one was hurt during either encounter.
Burns says she and her family have lived at the home for four years and it wasn’t until this year that snakes started showing up. In addition to the cottonmouths, Burns says she’s seen a brahminy blind snake, a black racer snake, a rat snake and a southern ring snake on her property.
She and her family live in the Wellington subdivision which is in the Tampa Palms community located in New Tampa. There is a conservation area behind her home, which may be where the snakes are coming from.