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though I would be cautious with one of any type, not knowing much about them
I called the local animal museum and described the snake. The woman said it really couldn't be anything other than a king snake based on its markings, so it wasn't poisonous.
However, it struck a white plastic bag that was in the bushes while my son was trying to take a picture of it. The snake must have thought the bag was a mouse or rabbit. My son brought the plastic bag inside after the snake let it go and part of the plastic was melted in a U shape like the shape of a snake's mouth. So it may not be poisonous but it certainly has teeth or fangs of some sort and some kind of substance in its mouth that is strong enough to melt a plastic bag. I suspect it could do some serious damage to human flesh if we accidentally scared it or stepped on it, which I almost did the other day when I went to step out on to the patio and it was slithering by in front of the patio door. I'm not used to having check for snakes first before stepping out onto the patio.
[edited by: Jane_Doe at 5:01 pm (utc) on June 28, 2007]