Killer snake in the Lower East Side!

I was walking Hank this morning along 7th street between Ave. C & D when a maintenance worker for one of the buildings started yelling "SNAKE!!! Stay back!!!" There were four men with brooms running around a parked car making a huge scene. Granted, snake sightings are unusual in NYC, there are several large community gardens in my neighborhood which make ideal habitats. However judging by the way the four were acting you would have thought there was a monster-sized Anaconda lurking about.

NYC's Lower East Side is crazy, yo!

I walked over and handed Hank's leash to the first worker and instructed him to hold the dog. I should note that while four grown men were shitting their pants, Hank was totally calm and disinterested. I'm actually surprised at how he didn't even bark when I handed him off to go play Steve Irwin.

Crikey! (not even close, pal)

What I actually found was a small Common Garter Snake. I grabbed an empty soda bottle from the nearest recycling bin, carefully scooped up the snake and coerced it into the bottle by sticking him in head first.

Definitely NOT a killer Anaconda.

Safe from broom wielding maintenance workers, Hank and I took the snake home. Once the dog was fed, I grabbed my camera and brought the snake over to the East River Park, which runs down Manhattan's east side along the river. I released the snake in an area of the park that is heavily wooded, free from lawn mowers, pets or brooms.

"The scene in that film when my cousin ate Ice Cube was AWESOME!"

The diet of the common garter snake consists mainly of amphibians and earthworms, but also fish, small birds, toads and rodents. (Not former rappers or maintenance workers)


From rattlesnakes in Arizona, black snakes and copperheads on my cousin's property in Virginia to my college roommate's pet boa constrictor, I have been around snakes my entire life. It is necessary to mention I also know how to identify the differences between poisonous an non-poisonous snakes and the correct way to approach and pick them up. I believe we all should have healthy respect for snakes and the importance they play in our environment.

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