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Bridgeport Residents Notice Increase In Snakes

Mike Parker Mike Parker
Mike Parker has been a general assignment reporter for CBS 2 Chicago...
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(CBS) — Chicago’s Bridgeport neighborhood has a situation that might make your skin crawl: snakes, too many of them, according to some people who live there.

CBS 2’s Mike Parker has the story.

Mitchell Pienta found a family of what appear to be garden-variety garter snakes living under some tiles in his backyard. Folks in the neighborhood say they’ve been seeing a lot of them this spring. Some call it an unwelcome infestation.

Not Pienta.

“When I walk my dog I see them there all the time,” he says.

He has no qualms about picking them up and handling them.

“No big deal,” says Pienta. “When I was a kid I used to have a big cage. I had about 30 of them in there.”

CBS 2 spent hours looking for more of the slithery creatures all over the area and checked gangways, vacant lots and we checked alleys.

Michael Calderone confirms an unusual abundance of the reptiles in his yard this year.  He’s not a fan.

“I’m not a snake guy,” he says.

What’s causing the sudden increase in the snake population in this urban neighborhood? Some experts say it’s because of the rainy weather this spring. Others say it’s nature’s way of dealing with an upsurge in the number of rats and mice there; snakes feed on them.

In any case, these Midwestern snakes are harmless to humans.