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Massive rat snake spotted on Zionsville trail

Eastern Rat Snake.JPG
Posted at 7:09 AM, Apr 19, 2019

ZIONSVILLE — As spring rears its head you're probably going to find yourself out and about more - and the same is true for all the forest creatures and some of them can be very intimidating.

Like, perhaps, a giant snake?

The Town of Zionsville is posted an image of a very large eastern rat snake that was taken on the Big-4 Rail Trail, but it wasn't to scare you away from the woods.

Mindy Murdock, Park Naturalist in Zionsville said the snakes, also known as the black rat snake, are predators - but not toward humans. As a matter of fact, there aren't any venemous snakes in Zionsville - although you'll find a wide variety including rat snakes, midland water snakes and garter snakes among others.

Eastern rat snakes are typically between three to five feet long, but some can grow to more than six feet.

"Although their size can be intimidating, rat snakes are predators to mice and rats and help keep our local habitats healthy," Murdock wrote on the town's Facebook page. "They will also eat squirrels, chipmunks, as well as bird eggs."

Murdock said the snakes are excellent climbers and prefer to relax in the trees, so you're not as likely to step on one.

Of course, all snakes can bite if they feel threatened, Murdock said.

"We ask that you show respect, give them room and take lots and lots of pictures," Murdock said. "We love our native snakes!"