A water snake that’s been spotted in an Arizona canyon may be the result of a misidentification.
The snake has been identified as a banded-water snake, and it’s now on its way to a reptile vet in Prescott.
The Banded Water Snake, a species that’s venomous and lives in the desert north of Tucson, was spotted in the Arizona desert and has now been brought to Prescott.
“The venom is not dangerous, and we’ve had no reports of snakes being bitten by it,” said Dr. Robert Kostin, who works with the AZ Department of Wildlife Services.
“It’s probably not venomous,” he said.
“But we don’t know yet if it’s a snake that hasn’t been caught in the wild, and if so, how dangerous it is.”
Banded-Water Snakes are venomous, and most are harmless.
Kosten said the snake probably didn’t know it was in a canyon when it was spotted, so the first thing it did was get off its hind legs and crawl around.
The animal could be about 1-1/2 inches long.
Kistin said it was likely a juvenile.
He said it may have been caught by a dog or a coyote and kept for a few days.
The reptile veterinarian said the banded snake is a threat because it’s aggressive and can be difficult to catch.
“They’re also aggressive to people,” he explained.
“They’re very, very hard to control.”