SIKESTON, MO (KFVS) - Sikeston Department of Public Safety wants to debunk a rumor of a large snake slithering around town.
A resident in the Meadowbrook and Greenbrier area took a picture of a snake from her bedroom window as it navigated its way through a small tree, according to Sikeston DPS. This home is near a tree line and drainage ditch that runs just north of this neighborhood. The woman described the snake being 7 to 9 feet long and (at most) 2 inches in diameter.
This story has been exaggerated since the initial report. Rumors of a 20 foot constrictor terrorizing the neighborhood got back to the woman. She said she was surprised at these larger-than-life rumors.
Photographs of the snake were taken to the Jennifer Weaver, a naturalist at the Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center. Weaver confirmed the species of the snake as a black rat snake.
Weaver says it is a non-venomous species that is native to Missouri. It is one of the largest snake in Missouri. The average length is 3.5' to 6' long. In some cases, they can grow larger.
The snake usually eats mice, small rats, birds and their eggs. This species is well known for its ability to climb trees, where it will scavenge eggs from birds' nests and sometimes bask in the sun.
This snake is useful to farmers in controlling rodents.
Weaver assures people the snake is not large enough to eat an adult rabbit or a small dog.
The resident confirmed the snake she saw was a black rat snake after looking at a picture of it.
No one knows where the black rat snake is now, but it is believed to have traveled back into its natural habitat, the tree line and field located just north of this neighborhood.