facebook
twitter
search
search

Expert: Snake in picture not so large

May 24, 2012 at 1:07 PM

COLUMBIA, S.C., May 24 (UPI) -- A South Carolina wildlife official said a snake a man photographed on a tree in his yard is not the 15-foot python it appears to be, but a 6-foot rat snake.

Andrew Philson of Columbia said a neighbor alerted him to a snake in his back yard Monday and he snapped a photo of what appeared to be a 15-foot python before it disappeared prior to a trapping service's arrival, The (Columbia) State reported Thursday.

The picture has gone viral online, raising concerns from many citizens about a huge serpent in their midst, but Department of Natural Resources herpetologist Steve Bennett said the snake actually appears to be a 6-foot rat snake.

He said rat snakes are "the mockingbirds of the reptilian world," explaining it's similar in appearance to a python and appears much larger in the picture than in real life due to an optical illusion known as forced perspective.

"People will get in a frenzy and it will blow over in a few days," Bennett said of the snake hysteria.

However, Philson said he is not convinced and will be on the lookout for the reptile.

"It's not a huge tree, but it's a huge snake," he said. "I'm not exaggerating."

A Twitter account, @SlithersSnake, purporting to be the serpent appeared online this week.

"Fame won't change me, I'm still a #slithasupastar," @SlitherSnake posted.

Like Us on Facebook for more stories from UPI.com  
Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Top Stories
1,000 people possibly sickened by fecal matter in French mud run
Georgia Confederate flag parade ends in fender-bender
Massachusetts newlyweds take home $15M lottery prize
Fridge odor at University of Kentucky sends 10 to hospital
'Drink more beer' road sign sells for hundreds