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Snakes Falling Out of Trees in Cleveland Park Too – Photo Evidence

by Prince Of Petworth June 11, 2013 at 11:00 am 33 Comments

Porter and Connecticut Ave, NW

At the end of May we learned the frightening news that snakes were falling out of trees in in Walter Pierce Park in Adams Morgan. Apparently, some snakes have migrated to Cleveland Park. Yesterday afternoon a reader sent the photo above and wrote:

Just saw this guy take the plunge from a tree on Porter Street in Cleveland Park. It was terrifying. Maybe the same kind of snake that was falling from the trees in Walter Pierce Park? It was right below Connecticut, a little after Kim’s Dry Cleaners. It was so bizarre! After it fell it just kind of laid there. I’m not sure if it was dead or if it was freezing like the person in the PoP post said.

Ed. Note: The snakes from Adams Morgan were black rat snakes.

  • Alan

    And I see it’s a black snake too, Cleveland Park listserv is going to be BUSY today.

    • Anonymous


    • anon

      one of the funnier comments I’ve seen here in a while. top notch.

  • Anonymous

    They’re not poisonous.

  • Anonymous

    WTF?! DC never had a snake problem until now…

    I suspect they’re being planted around town by someone. Besides that, if snakes were here all along, thy would have evolved an instinct to not fall out of trees. An investigation should be launched. This is not cool.

    • me

      Seriously dude?

      • Jack5

        Yes. Seriously.

    • Alan

      Snakes are everywhere, they just don’t usually bother people since their preferred prey is tiny mammals and amphibians. As to why they are falling out of trees, who knows?

  • David

    Could this be a solution to the rat problem?

    • Anonymous


  • andy

    Note to self:

    Untitled 2014 48-Hour Film Project entry:

    Issue #1: workability of tree snakes as horror/action film premise;
    Issue #2: moral issue to address via film, urban conflict/gentrification = strong contender;
    Issue #3: Samuel L. Jackson’s availability.

  • Anonymous

    Next thing you know they’ll be in planes

  • dp

    Hopefully no one will hurt them. Rat snakes are not harmful and, like most snakes, generally want to be left alone. Plus, as someone has pointed out, they eat rats.

    • Jack5

      So do cats. I prefer cats falling out of trees more than snakes.

      • Anony

        Not me, cats suck

      • No way. These snakes are harmless. Cats are filthy disease carriers.

    • 17th Street

      Anything that wants to be left alone better not fall out of a tree onto me. That breaks the ‘leave me alone’ social contract. I promise to leave it alone as long as it stays in the tree.

  • Anonymous

    do they eat City Council members?

    • dp

      No, but the feds do

  • Anonymous

    There is a photo of a similar snake on the Mt Pleasant listserv.

  • Kim

    I know these snakes are harmless, but just looking at this picture gives me the creepies. If one of those snakes falls on my head, I’m going to shit myself silly. God, I have such a huge phobia of snakes.

  • Jay

    This is -literally- my worst nightmare.

  • kc

    Falling? Or were they PUSHED?

    • mouse, anon y.

      standard DC – pushing the black residents out of the their homes.

      • Anonymous

        ha ha, all part of “The Plan”

    • Anonymous

      Back, and to the left, Back and to the left…

  • Anonymous

    How many hours do I have to sit under a tree to get one to fall on me!!!!?


    We should welcome him, and all his friends and relations. He is a blllack snake and they LOVE to eat RATS!!

  • Anonymous

    Hi all,

    I am a herpetologist that grew up in Cleveland Park and spent my childhood studying and catching snakes around DC. The snake in the pic is a black rat snake, non-poisonous and harmless. They have always been in the area, its just pure happenstance that a few have fallen from trees, but they do love to climb, and will live in the wholes of trees up high off the ground, even in the city. Not to worry, its not some new phenomonon. Jacob M.

  • AngryParakeet

    They go for baby birds and bird eggs; that’s why they are also found in trees. When visiting a farm in Loudoun County (farm long gone) I saw one of these black snakes, about 4′ long, coiling its way up the post of a canary cage put out on the porch. I lunged for the snake to pull it off and that thing bit me and hung on! Didn’t hurt much, but I had a scar for years.

  • I’m a conservation biologist that lives in Cleveland Park. This snake looks like it’s a black rat snake. They’re harmless to people, and have an important job in urban areas — like their name suggests, they eat rats and other rodents! They’re an important part of a healthy urban ecosystem. They do spend some time in trees, and I think it’s just a coincidence that we’re hearing about a few falling out of trees right now.


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