Love, having no geography, knows no boundaries is a popular quote but who knew this would turn a 'shocker' for residents of Lakeland, Florida, who were alarmed to see a group of snakes mating around Lake Hollingsworth. A Florida city partially shut down Lake Hollingsworth on Thursday after receiving reports of swarming snakes. According to reports, the slithery creatures were just celebrating Valentine's Day a little early.
Sharing a photo of the lake shoreline, and a closeup shot of a brown snake nestled in leaves on its Facebook page, the Lakeland Parks & Recreation department wrote that a group of non-venomous water snakes congregated to mate near a traffic roundabout.
“Relax. Keep calm. The snakes at the lake are not venomous!” a Facebook post from the city government reads. “We wanted to clarify some rumours that have been going around over the last day or so about the snakes at Lake Hollingsworth near the roundabout, which were mistakenly thought to be venomous.”
“They are an important part of the ecosystem and should not be disturbed,” the Parks and Recreation Department said in its own Facebook post on Thursday. “While we cannot rule out the presence of other species being in that location or other locations around the lake we believe the water snakes have congregated in that area as they seem to do yearly.”
Officials said the snakes are “generally not aggressive as long as people do not disturb them.”
Once mating is over, the snakes are expected to go their separate ways.
The city said that Florida water snakes are a native species.
“They are generally found resting in tree limbs over water or basking on shorelines. They are an important part of the ecosystem and should not be disturbed,” the Facebook post said. Lakeland is in central Florida, between Tampa and Orlando.