Love is in the air: Mating snakes take over Lake Hollingsworth

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(Photo: City of Lakeland)

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – With Valentine’s Day upon us, love is in the air, not only for humans but reptiles too.

Concerned citizens sounded the alarm after dozens of snakes were seen congregating at the roundabout near Lake Hollingsworth.

The City of Lakeland said its park division was sent in to investigate, and identified the reptiles as Florida water snakes that were in the area to mate.

“They are non-venomous and generally not aggressive as long as people do not disturb them. Once the mating is over they should go their separate ways,” the city said in a press release.

The Florida water snake is a subspecies of the banded water snake. The reptile is native to the southeastern United States and is generally found resting in tree limbs over water or on shorelines.

“They are an important part of the ecosystem and should not be disturbed,” city officials said. “While we cannot rule out the presence of other species being in that location or other locations, we believe the banded water snakes have congregated in that area as they seem to do yearly.”

The city has blocked off the area with caution tape and is hanging signs to make sure people are aware of the snakes.

“This is for the protection of the public and the snakes,” the city said.

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