The owner of A2D AutoWorks, located at 371 Sagamore Ave. in Mineola, discovered a snake that was approximately one foot long eating a mouse outside a bay door early last week.
Efrain Cruz, who owns the shop and discovered the snake slithering outside his business at around 8 a.m. along with another coworker, were able to use plastic shovels to place the snake into a bin until authorities arrived.
Not exactly something one would even consider seeing when they come into work, Cruz said he was startled to say the least.
“I was a little shocked. I opened the rear garage door and I saw something moving and when I looked down it turned out to be a snake,” said Cruz. “I didn’t know what type of snake it was until they told me how poisonous it was.”
Cruz contained the snake for a few hours until the Nassau SPCA arrived along with officers from the Nassau County Police Department’s Emergency Services Unit and the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).
According to Nassau County Police Detective Kenneth Ludwig, the call came in at 9:15 a.m. and the snake was removed by the SPCA along with the DEC. The snake was determined as a copperhead venomous snake, which the Bronx Zoo agreed to take.
Especially in his line of work, Cruz said that he was more than happy to stop working until the snake was properly dealt with.
“We work on cars all day,” explained Cruz. “If I’m lying on the ground working on something, and this thing comes back…that’s the reason why I just didn’t let it loose. Most people’s reaction would be just to throw it over the fence.”
Cruz didn’t want the dangerous snake to slither back into his shop, especially if he is at ground level working on a car and knew calling the proper authorities was the right decision.
In the United States, the majority of snake bite victims are from copperhead snakes. However, Detective Gary Rogers with the Nassau County SPCA said that these snakes are not native to Long Island and he has never seen one on the island before.
Copperhead snakes can be found as far north as Massachusetts, down to the Florida panhandle and as far west as Nebraska, according to the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington D.C.
In fact, there are no venomous snakes on Long Island. Rogers’ department is still determining how the snake was able to get to Long Island.
Depending on the size of the snake and the human victim, bites from copperhead snakes could be fatal. Rogers recommends that anyone who is bitten should go to the Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx immediately, which is the site of the only snake bite treatment center in the tristate area.