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Tyler snake mystery solved

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TYLER, TX (KLTV) -

The picture of Johny Hayes holding a snake he killed in Tyler is causing some controversy. There are several opinions on how big and what kind it was.

Snake expert Daryl Sprout says the snake is a broad banded copperhead, "This is sort of a heavy bodied, short, stumpy snake but when you put it at an angle like that facing the camera and you're holding it up high like that, it makes the snake look longer than you are."

Sprout says the snake in the picture is probably around four feet long but that's hard to tell from the picture.

"With the man holding the snake like he was, it looks to be at least ten feet long," says Bob Gardner with Tyler Animal Control.

Gardner knew a snake that size couldn't be a copperhead, which only added to the confusion. Hayes says he didn't care what kind it was, the snake startled him so he stomped it's head with his foot.

"I was thinking about my grandkids and my wife so it made a difference there, I didn't want him to come back."

Sprout says, if you're afraid of being bitten by a snake, killing one is not the right move.

"Most of the people who get bit by venomous snakes are trying to kill the snake at the time."

Tyler Animal Control says they will remove snakes from your property, poisonous or not.

"There's a safety concern always with a snake, even a non-poisonous snake can cause a heart attack," Gardner says.

"The copperhead is just as natural of a part of Tyler, Texas as a butterfly or a hummingbird. And if you don't get in there and mess with him, he's just as harmless," Sprouts says.

Gardner doesn't want people to be scared, "I don't want people to think we've got monster snakes out here that have invaded Tyler, Texas because that's just not the truth."

If you ask Sprout, the snake is no monster. It's beautiful.

Sprout says the best way to get rid of a snake is not by killing it but by grabbing a broom and a trash can. He says you can easily use the broom to get the snake in the trash can. You can then tilt the trash can up and the stake becomes harmless.

Sprout suggests taking the snake to a rural area at least a half mile away to release it so it won't come back. 

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