'Oh, crap!' Snake falls from banana tree onto Melbourne Beach tourist

San Francisco man startled by first wild Florida encounter

By James Sparvero - Reporter

MELBOURNE BEACH, Fla. - Out of nowhere, a San Francisco man vacationing in Melbourne Beach says a snake fell onto him from a banana tree and wrapped itself around his arm before he was able to throw the snake into a bush.

Jake Collier, 26, said the snake encounter happened around 10 p.m. Monday at his in-laws' house on Tay Court.

"Honestly, it was just shocking. I was like, 'Oh, crap,'" Collier said.

"The snake literally flew off the tree and wrapped around my arm. And I grabbed it and I threw it back into the bush," Collier said.

Not out of the woods yet, Collier was not immediately certain if the snake bit him. He worried about a numbness he soon felt in his arm.

He called 911 and emergency responders determined he was OK.

Keith Winsten, the Brevard Zoo's executive director, said the snake probably did not intend any harm.

"Sounds like the snake might have fallen and the guy was nice enough to break the snake's fall," Winsten said. "I'm sure the snake appreciated that."

Winsten said it was probably a rat snake, not venomous and no threat.

Zoo officials said Florida snakes that can kill do not climb trees.

Collier's in-laws cut down the banana tree Tuesday.

"If it's going to become a hazard where a snake can jump out at you, I think it's a good idea to take it down," Collier said. "My arm hasn't turned black or blue or fallen off yet, so it's OK."

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