Big Snake Parks Herself In New London Garage

New London - Bill Cornish's Gov. Winthrop parking garage is no pond or lake. There are no frogs or small vermin to consume there, only cars.

But there she was, a female Northern water snake about 48 inches long and maybe 3 inches wide, curled up right under a compact car.

Upon discovery of the snake Saturday afternoon, a parking attendant called Cornish, who called Jonathan Horne, left, better known as “Trapper Jon” of Nuisance Wildlife Evictions LLC. Horne and his wife, Grace Horne, were ready and willing to capture the snake, which they released Monday in the Nehantic State Forest in Lyme.

The snake was first thought to be a venomous copperhead, which has similar red, brown and black markings and a triangular head, said Horne.

”The Northern water snake will give you a nasty bite, but they are non-poisonous,” said Horne, of New London. “And also, they will emit a rather nasty-smelling odor and substance from their anal area in order to dissuade you from doing anything - you know, getting near them.”

Horne used a snake pole and wore elbow-high Kevlar-and-leather-lined gloves known as “rabies gloves” to protect himself and safely remove the snake from under the car, he said.

While common in the Northeast, Horne said Northern water snakes are usually found near bodies of water, not in urban settings such as parking garages. This particular snake, which was fairly large for the species, probably hitched a ride on a car and then fell off in the garage, Horne said.

”I think it's a pretty thing,” he said.

- Jenna Cho
Article UID=52c909af-678b-4f58-8a77-6128e3aafc10

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