VIDEO: Big snake in Michigan river draws mixed reactions

See the video below

Photo of Angela Mulka

While kayaking on the Chippewa River, Victoria Vargas a Midland County resident, spotted this "huge snake" sunning itself on a log. She posted this video to AskMidland, a Facebook group for residents, to see if anyone could identify the snake. See the video, which has accumulated more than 1,000 views, below.

Michigan Department of Natural Resources believes the snake to be a northern water snake, based on the markings. The snake can be found found statewide and adults usually reach 2 to 4 feet long, according to Hannah Schauer, wildlife education technician at the department.

The northern water snake is not venomous and does not pose a threat to humans. This snake species feeds on fish and frogs, and it's not unusual to see them around Michigan. Schauer made sure to note that Michigan does not have water moccasins or cottonmouths, which is a more famous snake that inhabits the water in southern states like Texas.

"Just because its a snake swimming in the water, does not mean it's venomous," Schauer said. Below is video featuring Schauer and facts about the northern water snake, also called Nerodia sipedon in the scientific community. 

Reactions to Vargas' Facebook post varied.

One commenter said, "Harmless or not, I would've died seeing this. My heart would've stopped."

Another had a different opinion, "Such a cutie, just basking out in the open, enjoying a nice nap after a hearty meal, perhaps." 

A few people agreed they wouldn't be going near the river again.

"I was sincerely looking to share this find and get information on the type of snake," Vargas said. "I never meant to add fear to Michiganders and ruin summer fun on the river."

She hopes that people will still want to enjoy floating on the rivers and seeing the other beautiful things in the nature. In addition, she hopes once friends and neighbors see the video, they will become a little more at ease after the "initial shock" of learning we have snakes this big in Michigan wears off.