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Reports Of Aggressive Snakes In Washington Co. Park Have Some On Edge

FINLEYVILLE (KDKA) -- Are snakes really a problem in a local park?

People are talking after a newspaper article where one town's mayor said he was concerned about the snakes after a recent wedding held at Mingo Creek County Park in Washington County.

The Observer-Reporter newspaper reported that the mayor of Monongahela told Washington County Commissioners that the snakes can be aggressive and even chased a child.

"I just don't like snakes," said Judy Bunting who regularly walks her dog Buddy in the park.

She and others we talked with say it's very rare to see a snake here.

"Three years ago when my granddaughter graduated there was one snake in here, but I've never seen more than two," said Bunting.

"I saw one dead carcass along the trail, and I've been coming here for a couple of years now," said John Matush of Monongahela.

Lisa Cessna is the Executive Director of the Washington County Planning Commission, which oversees county parks.

She says there are snakes in the park and that they like the rocks next to bridges. But she says by no means are they overrunning the park.

"We do have snakes in the park of all varieties. It's a natural environment, the park setting," said Cessna.

However, she the snakes being discussed are not venomous, but rather, something called northern water snakes.

"They'll come out on the rocks to sun themselves," said Cessna. "If you do approach, they typically slither back under the rocks quickly, and we've never heard of an encounter or a problem. By no means, do we feel we're overrun with them."

That said, she says they'll keep an eye on the situation.

KDKA-TV tried Wednesday evening to reach the mayor of Monongahela to hear his story firsthand, but was unable to do so.

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