JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A family in Mandarin is thankful their loyal pet alerted them to a rattlesnake measuring nearly 5 feet in their backyard.
Adam Kinder told News4Jax he was shocked to come across the eastern diamondback behind his home after his dog spotted it. In cellphone video taken from his backyard, the snake can be heard quivering its rattle.
"Living near the creek, I knew that I should be looking out for water moccasins, but I didn't really have any idea that I should be looking out for a rattlesnake," Kinder said. "It kind of felt like it was surreal."
Kinder was concerned after finding the rattler, as he has three children under 4-years-old who play in the yard.
Cayle Pearson, a reptile expert at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, said the eastern diamondback is the largest venomous snake in North America. However, finding one in Florida is rare.
"In Florida, you are actually oddly fortunate to see an eastern diamondback because their numbers are a bit lower," Pearson said.
Pearson also said rattlesnakes typically try to stay away from people.
Anyone who comes across a potential harmful snake is advised to contact a wildlife removal service.