‘What a beast!’ Huge snake found by hiker near South Carolina creek

FLORENCE, S.C. — A South Carolina woman hiking near a creek was startled to find a huge snake hiding near the edge of a creek.

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Meredith Langley took photographs of the reptile Tuesday at Jeffries Creek Park in Florence and shared them on Facebook, The State of Columbia reported.

“Note how well he blends in with his surroundings,” Langley said in her post. “This was a good teaching opportunity and example for my own kids who forget not to run ahead of me on trails!” she said.

The post received dozens of comments and was shared by more than 1,000 people on the social media site.

“He’s probably swallowed somebody child already,” one poster joked, adding, “I ain’t going on no trails period.”

“What a beast!” another person wrote.

Sean Foley, curator of herpetology at the Riverbanks Zoo & Garden in Columbia, said the reptile is a harmless watersnake, “most likely” a brown watersnake, The State reported.

While they are considered harmless, watersnakes do their best to convince potential threats that they might be venomous cottonmouths, Foley told McClatchy News.

“If they are cornered or attacked they will defend themselves by flattening their heads, striking, and shaking their tails in leaves,” Foley said. “All these things make them appear dangerous to would-be predators in the hopes that they will be left alone.”