Snake orgy prompts partial closure of city park

One resident said he saw around 25 Florida water snakes gather at a park in Lakeland, southwest of Orlando. [GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP/File / Richard HEATHCOTE]
A city in Florida closed off part of a park after residents spotted dozens of snakes which had apparently gathered for their annual coupling.

"It appears they have congregated for mating," the City of Lakeland Parks and Recreation Department said on Facebook with a photo of one of the serpents seen in the park by Lake Hollingsworth, southwest of Orlando.

Officials on Thursday sealed off an area where the amorous reptiles had gathered for their pre-Valentine's Day tryst with caution tape.

"This is for the protection of the public and the snakes," the department said.

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"They are non-venomous and generally not aggressive as long as people do not disturb them. Once the mating is over they should go their separate ways."

The slippery customers were identified as harmless native Florida water snakes.

"They are generally found resting in tree limbs over water or basking on shorelines. They are an important part of the ecosystem and should not be disturbed," the department said.

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Resident Tim Newberry, whose Facebook photos of snakes in the park alerted city authorities, told 10News he saw about 25 that day.  

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