Who knew snakes could swim? Family spots rattlesnake in water at Lake Pleasant

Posted at 7:54 PM, May 31, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-02 09:35:00-04

What's in the water at Lake Pleasant?

Rattlesnakes, according to one Peoria family. They came awfully close to one over the Memorial Day weekend and now they want to spread the word.

"It's not something you see every day," explains Scott Stokes.

It's probably something you never want to see, especially lurking just feet away!

"I hopped off my kayak and swam as fast as I could," says 8-year-old Caleb Leone, Scott's stepson.

Caleb was in his kayak at the time — the closest in his family to a rattlesnake. 

Scott got video on his cell phone. He knew what it was pretty much right away.

"It's a very large, fat rattlesnake!" Stokes said.

Scott and his family weren't the only ones who spotted it. Several Facebook friends were all too eager to share the details of their slithery encounters — also happening this weekend!

We took their concerns to Arizona Game and Fish officials, who tell us, yes, rattlesnakes can swim. 

They're not commonly found in water, but it happens, according to wildlife experts. And that could be for a variety of reasons. More than likely, the snakes may just be trying to travel from place to place, but it's also possible a bird of prey captured the snake and released it or maybe the snake fell into the water a different way, experts add.

Stokes also spoke with an expert who told him the same thing. But now, the only expert advice he's going to follow is to run the other way!

Scott added that the incident didn't prevent him from getting back in the water, although they did have someone serve as a look out for the rest of the day in case the snake came back.

Wildlife experts say the best thing to do if you encounter a snake on the water is it just give it space; the same way you would if you spotted one on the trails.