Massive Snake Nearly Eight Feet Long Found in Georgia: 'Hell No'

A snake measuring close to 8 feet long was discovered in Georgia, the biggest one found in the state for years, and just shy of the national record.

Wildlife biologists at Fort Stewart captured an Eastern Indigo Snake, a Facebook post from the Georgia Southern University Department of Biology said.

The snap, shared on Thursday, shows a man holding up the black serpent, which measured 7 feet 7 inches long.

The impressive specimen was hailed by the team, who called it "undoubtedly one of the most magnificent animals in our region."

And despite its impressive size, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) confirmed the animals aren't venomous, and are in fact "harmless."

It's unusual to find one this big, as the researchers explained: "Unfortunately, they are Federally threatened due to habitat loss and persecution by humans." Under the FWS's Endangered Species Act, the snake is listed as "threatened."

That is why the "exciting" find was eagerly welcomed by the biologists. "Indigo Snakes are the longest snake in the U.S., but this is still a noteworthy size. It is apparently the longest Indigo Snake measured in Georgia in recent years," they added.

Florida Fish and Wildlife, and the Encyclopedia of Alabama, both say the longest Eastern Indigo Snake found was nine feet two inches long, with the Georgia specimen not too far short of this record.

The FWS claimed they can grow up to 8ft 5ins for males, and 6ft 5ins for females, and weigh between 6.5 pounds and 11lbs.

The snake is now "restricted to southern Georgia and Florida," the university noted, adding: "They are being reintroduced" in Alabama.

Eastern Indigo Snake found in Georgia.
A huge Eastern Indigo Snake found in Georgia, thought to be the biggest in years. Dee Mincey / Georgia Southern University Department of Biology

In the three states, the snakes' preferred habitat is: "Dry, fire-maintained sandhill habitat with scattered oaks and longleaf pine. The presence of gopher tortoise burrows is a plus."

The Orianne Society explained how these two species are connected, saying: "In addition, the Eastern Indigo Snake is directly linked to another vulnerable species—the Gopher Tortoise.

"In the northern portion of its range, the Eastern Indigo Snake is dependent on Gopher Tortoise burrows for shelter in the winter. As suitable Gopher Tortoise habitat has declined, so have the tortoise populations and with it the Eastern Indigo Snake."

And in response to questions over the snake's fate, the team confirmed in comments that the creature was not killed. The biology department added: "These wildlife biologists work with Indigo Snakes on a regular basis as part of long-term monitoring of their populations."

The impressive find was praised on Facebook, with the post amassing hundreds of likes and shares, as Anna Franklin Wickman wrote: "Wow! What impressive find. Beautiful."

Jonathan Augustine raved: "That's incredible."

Rebecca Minchew Stanford commented: "What a beauty!"

Jane G. Williams wrote: "Wonderful! These snakes are so important to our ecosystem! That is an awesome snake!"

Donna Scott Henson noted: "It's a BIG snake!!!!"

While Sharon Fortune added: "Oh hell no!!"

In 2017, the United States Department of Agriculture's National Resources Conservation Service announced swathes of the Peach State would be the latest addition to the Sentinel Landscapes program.

Explaining the joint effort, a press release said: "The Departments of Agriculture, Defense and Interior have designated southern Georgia as the newest Sentinel Landscape designed to protect natural resources, enhance habitat for several key species, and maintain military readiness.

"The Georgia Sentinel Landscape includes nine important military installations and ranges, including Fort Stewart, Fort Benning, and Townsend Bombing Range."

The Georgia Sentinel Landscape partners added part of their goals were to "ensure the continued viability of important military installations and support the protection of habitat corridors for diverse important species such as the gopher tortoise, red-cockaded woodpecker, and eastern indigo snake."

Update 2/22/22, 8:08 a.m. ET: This article was updated with photos from Georgia Southern University Department of Biology.