Atlanta deputies pulling over a car on I-75 were warned by the driver that he had snakes in the car, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
An Indiana man named Nicholas Angel Mesa was pulled over on a traffic stop. When the police approached him he informed that he had 10 snakes and three different lizard species in the car. To carry out a search of the vehicle, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) had to be called.
The DNR came and determined that the snakes were not poisonous. The species included Corn, Coachwhip, Pine, King and the Southern Hognose -- all native to Georgia. Other snakes included a Rosy Boa, which is not native to Georgia. Nicholas Angel Mesa claims that he captured the snakes in Florida and was taking them to Indiana, reports WLFI 18.
Mesa was charged with possession of snakes without a permit.
Whether or not the snakes and their handler eventually get reunited, the episode does illustrate an important point about urban life today: it's not just dogs and cats that people keep as pets or in their possession. People often keep many dangerous animals, including spiders, insects, and snakes. Their presence in unexpected places can also lead to bites and injury.
An injury or a bite from a snake would be treated under the law much like a dog-bite case. The Georgia dog bite law is Georgia Code Section 51-2-7. Poisonous snakes would easily fall into the Georgia dog bite law's definition of "a vicious or dangerous animal."
If you've been bitten by a snake, get the wound treated, and speak to an attorney. Not at the same time. And obviously, don't hitch a ride with someone who has snakes in the car.