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Capri Connection: Isles couple face off with snake; outcome unfortunate

Ann Hall
Columnist

Imagine having returned home after a quiet and restful Mother’s Day brunch and being greeted when you open the front door by a four foot black snake coiled with head raised and looking directly into your eyes as if ready to strike. This by no means was a friendly greeting to Jack and Linda Addy, full-time residents of Isles of Capri.

This snake was an uninvited guest in the home of Capri residents.

The couple recall that it was about two o’clock in the afternoon when Linda opened their front screen door to unlock the inside door to enter. They were looking forward to being greeted by their 12 year old Papillon dog Barney. Instead, they found themselves face-to-face with a four foot snake, head raised barring them from opening the main entry door.

“We tried to scare it out, but it found a hole in the weather stripping under the door, and slithered inside the house faster than we could imagine,” said Linda. “It even passed right over Barney who was sleeping right there,” Linda said.

Next, the snake jumped into a Christmas-like tree that Linda had decorated with sea shell ornaments she crafts. It knocked down the tree, breaking several of her glass ornaments. Linda shouted for her husband to do something, and to do it quickly before Barney woke up and took matters in his own mouth.

“Jack just stood there looking at the snake,” said Linda. She knew that Jack was not keen on snakes, so kept screaming until he could shake his fear. They both tried to scare the snake out and cause it no harm, but instead it ran to a corner, raised its head and entered a staring contest with them.

The startled couple feared that the snake would soon make its way behind their sofa or other heavy furniture that they could not move and bed down for who knows how long. In the meantime, if their dog were to awaken, they were sure he would try to rid his home of the snake himself since their neighbor had reported seeing Barney do that in the yard on several occasions.

Jack and Linda Addy with their dog Barney are at the front door of their home on the Isles of Capri

“That would have been an ugly situation,” said Linda. “We just had new light blue/gray carpet installed and know that Barney would have bitten the snake and shaken blood all over the place.”

While Linda continued screaming for her husband to do something, Jack disappeared for a minute and then came running back with his pellet gun. Before the snake could hide, Jack shot it in the head. The carpet was blood stained along the baseboard where the snake was halted. The Addy’s are awaiting a professional carpet cleaner to remove the stain.

Killing the snake was not what the Addy’s wanted to do. The couple say they are not snake savvy and feared a bite to themselves and to their aging dog. When faced with a fearful situation, one has to act according to what one think’s is best at the time.

Snakes are a common fear and probably one of the most common fears of mankind. It is often difficult when faced with a situation in which there is perceived to be emanate danger to someone or something; reaction and planning time are reduced to a minimum. It becomes difficult, to say the least, for the lay person to know which snakes are harmful and which are actually a friend to the environment. Florida is home to 46 species of native snakes, 34 of which are found in Southwest Florida; only six are venomous.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission website offers a wealth of information to help in the identification of snakes that may be encountered in residential neighborhoods. As more development moves into the area, habitats change. Wildlife is forced to move for survival. The good news is that most snakes encountered in neighborhoods are non-venomous. In addition, the non-venomous snakes help keep the rodent population down.

As we learn more about Florida's native snakes, it is hoped that we will also learn to respect them and appreciate their role in Florida's environment. However, it is also critical that we know what to do and what to expect in the event that a snake bites someone or a pet, whether it is venomous or not. Any snake bite can be dangerous as bites carry disease and can lead to serious infections.

To find a licensed wildlife removal specialist in your area, visit the nuisance wildlife permit website maintained by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (http://myfwc.com/license/wildlife/nuisance-wildlife/ and click the Wildlife Trapper List link near the bottom of the page).

Contact Ann Hall at ahall7911@coconuttele.net.