Officials debunk rumors of venomous snakes in Maryville, Ill. pa - KMOV.com

Officials debunk rumors of venomous snakes in Maryville, Ill. park

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MARYVILLE, Ill. (KMOV.com) -

After social media reports about venomous cottonmouth snakes in a Metro East park, the Village of Maryville reached out to a snake expert from the state to see if the reports are accurate.

The expert confirmed snakes are at Drost Park in Maryville, Illinois. However, they are not the dangerous cottonmouths some residents expected.

"Maybe people are mislabeling them," said a resident. "They encounter something and they blow it up."

Maryville Mayor Larry Gulledge said he believes the rumor started when a person spotted a large northern water snake eating a fish at the park, and posted the finding to Facebook.

Officials said venomous cottonmouth snakes are only found in the extreme southern part of Illinois because they cannot survive cold winters.

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