No one told me that there would be snakes here

While investigating our move to North Carolina last year, no one told me that there would be snakes involved. I’m sort of a city person, my wildlife and camping experiences are limited and I’m not a huge fan of rodents. I didn’t think much about snakes in Ontario.

I’m starting to think about snakes a lot more now — I saw a story on today about a snake in Brunswick County (N.C.). A serious snake:

"Two brothers were just driving along N.C. 133, near Orton Plantation, on Wednesday morning when they noticed a large snake – different from those native to the area – in the roadway. “We thought it was a rattlesnake,” said Billy Ballard, of Oak Island. But a closer look and, later, an expert opinion revealed it was actually a boa constrictor that stretched at least 7 feet long."

"The brothers, on their way to Wilmington for an appointment, brought the snake to the StarNews, where about a dozen people – the ones who apparently did not have a phobia of snakes – came outside to hear the brothers’ story."

"“He’s wounded. We just have to care for him,” Billy Ballard said. “He’s got a family. You can’t tell me he’s just a stray.”"

Who grabs a snake from the highway, thinking that it might be a rattle snake, throws it in the back of a truck and takes it to the newspaper?

I had my own snake sighting last week. While visiting a farm in Chatham County with a bunch of food safety folks, we saw a snake (left, exactly as shown), known to my tour companions a "big black snake" (creative taxonomist).

I’m feeling a bit like Indiana Jones.

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About Ben Chapman

Dr. Ben Chapman is a professor and food safety extension specialist at North Carolina State University. As a teenager, a Saturday afternoon viewing of the classic cable movie, Outbreak, sparked his interest in pathogens and public health. With the goal of less foodborne illness, his group designs, implements, and evaluates food safety strategies, messages, and media from farm-to-fork. Through reality-based research, Chapman investigates behaviors and creates interventions aimed at amateur and professional food handlers, managers, and organizational decision-makers; the gate keepers of safe food. Ben co-hosts a biweekly podcast called Food Safety Talk and tries to further engage folks online through Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and, maybe not surprisingly, Pinterest. Follow on Twitter @benjaminchapman.