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Due to Mating Snakes, a Florida City Closed Off Part of a Park on the Day Before Valentine’s Day

2 minute read

Love happens when you least expect it, or so the saying goes. This was true for the unsuspecting residents of Lakeland, Fla., who were alarmed to see group of snakes congregating around Lake Hollingsworth.

But don’t worry, the city government cautioned on Thursday. The snakes are only there to mate and aren’t venomous. Cue romantic snake music.

According to the City of Lakeland Parks and Recreation Department, the coupled-up snakes are Florida water snakes, which are nonvenomous and usually peaceful if left alone.

“Relax. Keep calm. The snakes at the lake are not venomous!” a Facebook post from the city government reads. “We wanted to clarify some rumors that have been going around over the last day or so about the snakes at Lake Hollingsworth near the roundabout, which were mistakenly thought to be venomous.”

“They are an important part of the ecosystem and should not be disturbed,” the Parks and Recreation Department said in its own Facebook post on Thursday. “While we cannot rule out the presence of other species being in that location or other locations around the lake we believe the water snakes have congregated in that area as they seem to do yearly.”

The Parks and Recreation Department said it has put caution tape around the area and are working to hang signs letting the public know exactly what is going on. “This is for the protection of the public and for the snakes,” the post went on.

One can only assume the snakes want a little privacy.

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Write to Madeleine Carlisle at madeleine.carlisle@time.com