Conservation Worker 'Astonished' by 7-Foot-Long Snake Heading Toward Busy Road

Conservationists with the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA) were tending to native plant restoration areas near Liberty Canyon in California when one staffer was shocked after spotting a 7-foot California kingsnake, which is nearly twice the size of the average kingsnake.

"We're going to need a bigger wildlife crossing," the MRCA joked in a Facebook post published January 20, noting that the incident took place in December.

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The organization was working on a project that is meant to provide a safe passage for wildlife to cross a nearby highway, which would reduce the number of wildlife deaths.

During one of the organization's outings, staffer Alberto Silva noticed the 7-foot snake slithering toward a busy road.

"Fearing this long black and cream native snake may not be able to avoid vehicles, Alberto quickly rushed into action using a large branch to safely lift and gently move the snake back to a planted area," the Facebook post read.

Dash Stolarz, an MRCA spokesperson, told USA Today's FTW Outdoors that those working on the site were "astonished" by the size of the snake. Another kingsnake, closer to the average size of the species, was spotted in the same area.

California Kingsnake
While working on a conservation project, a staff member spotted a 7-foot California kingsnake heading toward a busy road. He managed to relocate it before it got to the street. Here, a stock image of an Eastern kingsnake. GlobalP/iStock

According to the Los Angeles Zoo, the nonvenomous California kingsnake often hunt other snakes, including fellow California kingsnakes. They can eat rattlesnakes, and the zoo said that this species is resistant to a rattlesnake's venom.

"Hatchlings are typically about one foot long while adults can grow to be two to five feet long," the zoo's webpage about the snake states.

There are several different types of kingsnake subspecies. Specifically, the California kingsnake is most commonly found in southern California, though it may also be found in Arizona, New Mexico, southern Utah, Oregon and northern Mexico.

Several photos accompanied the Facebook post, showing the huge snake hoisted in the air as it is draped over a branch.

Stolarz told Newsweek the crews are professionals who have encountered other types of wildlife while out in the field, including other snakes and bobcats.

"They're out in the wilderness all the time and kingsnakes are pretty common," Stolarz said. "But, no one has ever seen one that size."

Another snake shocked people when they first found it.

Newsweek reported that a snake catcher shared footage showing himself removing a carpet python from bushes on an age-care facility property in Queensland, Australia.

Stuart McKenzie, the owner of Sunshine Coast Snake Catchers 24/7, said he could tell staff was nervous about the snake. They kept an eye on the slithering reptile until it hid in the bushes.

Though the employees were initially frightened, McKenzie said he spoke with them and assured them that the snake is not harmful.

Updated 01/26/2022, 3:02 p.m. ET: This story has been updated with comments from Dash Stolarz.