Miriam Mosher


We first learned of this situation when Bushwick Daily reader, Axel Dupeux posted a picture on Instagram yesterday of a massive dead snake at the southern facing side of Maria Hernandez Park. This is no garden-variety snake either; it is quite large with a rusty orange red pattern that fades to yellow on its underbelly.

Here in New York we are trained to be vigilant—to be assertive and aware of our surroundings—but of the many things we are on the lookout for, wildlife isn’t one of them. In fact, our interactions with animals usually begin and end with rodents and pigeons.

Axel found the snake while walking his dog. She went to sniff a tree, as dogs do, but “her reaction was bizarre.” Upon closer investigation he noticed the massive snake. There were no signs of decomposition, so he assumes it hadn’t been dead long. There were no park employees present at the time for him to report the snake to, so he tagged us, your trusty neighborhood reporters.

At 4:45 p.m. yesterday when I called animal control, there was no documentation of the snake. Of the 17 types of snakes native to New York, only three are venomous. We could not identify the snake based on those 17 images and wonder if it is an escaped pet and not, in fact, local to the region. Could it be the non-native Great Basin Gopher Snake featured in the image below?

Great Basin Gopher Snake. Photo courtesy of Mark Herr via Wikimedia Commons. 

Any snake experts out there want to take a stab at identification? And remember to be conscious with both your dogs and children until the snake has been disposed of! 

Featured image courtesy of Axel Dupeux.