READER REPORT: Snake sighting

The report and photo are from Jonathan:

I was just walking to my car at 1:30 pm today, parked on the 3400 41st Ave SW block, and almost stepped on this snake. Google says it’s a gopher snake. I was wondering if it could be a pet. I gave my neighbors a head’s up, but thought I might broaden the work in case someone lost their pet. Or, you know, beware of the snake, even though it shouldn’t be venomous.

One of our favorite sources for “co-existing with wildlife” info, the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, says that is indeed one of the common snakes in our state, with habitat generally “deserts, grasslands, and open woodlands.” It is indeed NOT venomous – it kills prey by squeezing, and it’s good to have around because rodents are among favorite prey.

22 Replies to "READER REPORT: Snake sighting"

  • WS Mom May 26, 2023 (4:43 pm)

    That is so cool! I never see snakes around here anymore and they are so helpful. 

  • Cat Mom May 26, 2023 (4:53 pm)

    I just googled the picture and the information I got was it’s a Bullsnake. This snake’s coloration provides it with excellent camouflage in its habitat. The bullsnake is non-venomous and kills its prey by strangulation. However, it can inflict a painful bite. When threatened, a bullsnake can mimic a venomous rattlesnake by puffing up its body, shaking its tail, and hissing.

  • Beto May 26, 2023 (5:13 pm)

    Wow! I have never heard of venomous snakes in the Puget Sound, but that “pet” looks scary! I think it is a gopher snake and they’re good for the environment.  

  • wscommuter May 26, 2023 (5:25 pm)

    Could we please point it at some bunnies in my neighborhood?  I miss the coyotes.

    • K to the F May 28, 2023 (6:08 am)

      Came here to say this. Hoping they do eat the bunnies, too!

    • Admyrl Byrd June 1, 2023 (11:43 pm)

      Careful on the coyotes…they tend to make cats and little dogs disappear too.  

  • anonyme May 26, 2023 (6:13 pm)

    What a beauty! I kept snakes as a kid and would have been thrilled at this sighting!  Let’s hope nobody sees it and does something stupid; a lot of that going around.

    • waikikigirl May 27, 2023 (7:13 am)

      @Anonyme, the only thing “stupid” I would do is what I’d look like when I go running away and screaming all the way!Snakes have freaked me out my whole life! LOL!
      How big is this snake, did the finder say?

  • mnw May 26, 2023 (6:32 pm)

    According to WDFW, Gophersnakes are found in Eastern Washington. “The species in western Washington is most likely no longer in existence.”. I hope this isn’t someone’s pet who got loose. Gophersnake | Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife

  • Zipping May 26, 2023 (7:20 pm)

    Maybe it will eat rat 🐀 in the area!

  • WSCurmudgeon May 26, 2023 (7:22 pm)

    WDF&W requests that sightings of Gophersnakes be reported using their online form.  It’s easy to do.

    It seems that this report will be of particular interest.

    It also is likely that this snake is an escaped pet, since this species has not been reported west of the Cascades since the 1850s!

  • Fan of Kelp Forests May 26, 2023 (9:45 pm)

    Saw and heard that today while walking about 1:45.  Thought was that a snake?  

  • Jay May 27, 2023 (1:38 am)

    Take care of the snakes and birds of prey and we won’t have rat issue. Never use the poison boxes!

  • Trileigh May 27, 2023 (9:45 am)

    Oh, I would be so thrilled if we had snakes in WS!

    • Jillian May 27, 2023 (10:46 am)

      We have garter snakes in red, yellow, green (most common) and blue in our WS neighborhood. I love seeing them in my garden. Would love to see a gopher snake, too!

      • Bill May 28, 2023 (5:16 am)

        What neighborhood is that?

  • Tracey May 27, 2023 (10:35 am)

    Oh my, can someone please capture it and return it to its proper habitat.  Or put a GPS tracker on it so I know if it is near. That freaks me out.   How do you lose a snake?  It isn’t like they dash out the front door when you open it a crack.

  • Kelly M May 27, 2023 (2:38 pm)

    This little guy was basking on our front walk in Highland Park on Wednesday – he (his relatives?) have been around our yard for years! 

    • Freak No May 28, 2023 (4:28 am)

      I would move.

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