ESTERO, Fla. – A massive rattlesnake that was trying to slither across a busy Florida road got some help from a wildlife enthusiast who made sure it got to the other side safely.
Cory Ball, of Bonita Springs, spotted the 4- to 5-foot eastern diamondback rattlesnake outside WildBlue, a housing development recently built in Estero. The community includes 872-acres of lakes and 1,329 acres of surrounding preserve land, according to the developer.
Ball snapped a few pictures to highlight the cold-blooded creature’s size and then “kept him moving” so the snake wouldn’t get hit by any of the construction vehicles known to frequent the area.
“He was not aggressive at all, just moving along. He seemed to like having his picture taken. They move surprisingly slow,” Ball said.
Eastern diamondback rattlesnake are venomous and can be lethal to humans. They can also strike a distance up two-thirds of their body length, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Ball said he’s glad it was him who encountered the snake instead of someone who may have gotten hurt or injured the animal.
“They are really dangerous and if someone else were to come upon one, I wouldn’t suggest getting so close,” he said.
The 35-year-old said he’s come across a snake or two in his day but this is the biggest rattlesnake he’s ever seen in the wild. While he was shocked at the sight, he’s also been surprised by how popular his pictures have become online. He said he originally posted them to his private Instagram and then to the Swamp Hikers Facebook group on Wednesday and they took off from there.
“All I was doing was respecting the animal and helping it to safety, but the reaction is super cool,” Ball said. “It’s cool to let people know what’s out there.”