A large snake was spotted hanging from a tree branch in Frick Park; KDKA's Bryant Reed reports.
- Just take a look at this picture. No, your eyes are not deceiving you. You are looking at a picture of a large snake hanging on a tree branch along a trail in Frick Park. Some hikers snapped the photo on their morning stroll, and now everyone in town's talking about it.
- So they said they didn't think it looked like it was native to this area, but Bryant Reed joined crews on their search today and has some new information for us. Bryant.
BRYANT REED: Yeah Ken and [? Christine, ?] this is actually where the hikers spotted this large snake, here on the Homewood Trail here in Frick Park. Pittsburgh Public Safety is warning people to be cautious of wildlife when you're in this area. Meanwhile experts have weighed in, and it turns out the snake actually belongs in this wooded area.
First it was bears, now it's snakes. Not exactly what we're used to hearing, but nature has made its way through the Pittsburgh area this week. Today Pittsburgh Public Safety has been on the lookout for this snake.
MAURICE MATTHEWS: Said he saw what appeared to be a large snake that seemed like it's not from this area.
BRYANT REED: Hikers snapped this picture while walking along the Homewood Trail in Frick Park this morning.
MAURICE MATTHEWS: So far we have not found a large snake. Small snakes, but no large snake.
BRYANT REED: Earlier in the day, the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy put out this Tweet saying they believe it was an Eastern black ratsnake. And then late this afternoon, we learned reptile experts with the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium confirmed the snake's identity.
Turns out Frick Park is home to plenty of snakes in general, but that's news to Matt Phelps, who walks the trails twice a week.
MATT PHELPS: I've never seen snakes. I heard about the bear on Mount Washington, so I feel like this is our version of that.
BRYANT REED: Even though it's not commonly seen in the park, know, if you come by one, it's not dangerous. While it might look scary, getting up to 7 feet, the ratsnake is beneficial to the environment. It's not venomous and primarily eats rodents.
MAURICE MATTHEWS: Snakes are more afraid of us, so, if you do happen to see one, you could just step to the side or maybe wait till he crawls through.
MATT PHELPS: I'm not nervous to walk around here still, but I will definitely be keeping an eye out up in the branches.
BRYANT REED: Public safety says, in this case, the hikers did the right thing, and it's a lesson for the future. If you just so happen to come across an animal or a snake, in this case, that you don't recognize or you aren't familiar with, don't touch it, don't go near it. As a matter of fact, just leave it alone. Live at Frick Park, I'm Bryant Reed, KDKA News.