CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Thousands of people are still talking about a photo shared with NBC Charlotte of a ball of snakes spotted along the greenway in Charlotte. It's not something anyone really wants to see on a walk. But, it turns out, those snakes were doing what they've always done and are not poisonous.
The photo was shared on the NBC Charlotte Facebook page thousands of times and received hundreds of comments.
But Marvin Bouknight of the Charlotte Nature Museum says the ball of snakes is normal.
"There's two things they need to do- they need to eat, and they need to mate," Bouknight said. "And what you're seeing is what people call a mating ball."
Bouknight says the snakes in the photo are harmless water snakes. However, they do look similar to the copperhead, the only venomous snake in Charlotte.
"If you have Indiana Jones feelings... you're probably having nightmares. But to be honest, if there's a time a snake is completely harmless, it's during one of these mating balls because he's concentrating on mating. He's fighting with the other snakes. He's not concerned about anything," Bouknight explained.
There are a few things that can be done to keep snakes away from houses. Keep mulch and leaves away from the house. Store firewood away as well and keep the pests at bay. Bugs are often a tastey meal for snakes.
"The other thing is if you have open crawl space underneath, consider some type of wire," Bouknight said.