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Venomous snake found in Upper Nyack homeowner's yard

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Marcus Solis has the latest details. (Clarkstown police)

Clarkstown police on Tuesday released a photo of a venomous copperhead found in a homeowner's yard on Palmer Avenue in Upper Nyack to serve as a warning that residents should not approach snakes.

"She took a stick and went like that and it started to move and she said, 'snake, snake,' said homeowner Lezlee Peterzell.

It was her 7-year-old daughter who saw the two foot long snake in the family backyard. It was soaking up the sun on the shredded rubber padding of a playset Saturday afternoon.

Rob Bellanich took photos, then sought to relocate the unwelcome visitor with the help of a stick.

"And I grabbed the tail of it, brought it over to the soccer field, threw it over the fence and away it went," said Bellanich.

Lezlee's telling is far more dramatic than her husband's - Rob is low key.

She thinks his actions were, "Insane crazy, picking up a snake..not happy about it, don't want him to get bit, don't do that," she said.

Indeed, that's the warning Clarkstown Police are issuing. The copperhead is one of three venomous snakes found in New York State. Although they are fairly common in the Hudson Valley, officials stress they are dangerous and in some cases can be deadly.

"You have to be rushed to the hospital quickly to get the anti-venom into you but it could kill a pet, could kill a child," said Pete Walker of the Clarkstown Police Department.

The Bellanich's backyard is tiered with the rear portion abutting trails from Hook Mountain, which is likely where the snake came from.

"I told my kids, my son especially who plays soccer in the field all the time, if they see a snake just back away and tell an adult." said Peterzell.

The Facebook post advises people to stay away from the reptiles, as they can kill a human, and to show the picture to children so that they will know to avoid them.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation recommends calling a licensed venomous snake responder to remove the snake if it does not move on its own.

Police say it's not entirely uncommon to find a snake like this in your yard, as they tend to hide near rock walls.

Experts say residents should not touch or handle the snake in any way.
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