Black rat snake in a tree in Frick Park. Photo from Pittsburgh Public Safety's Twitter page.

After a year when the parade of unexpected nightmares only seems to get longer, “giant snakes in trees” is somewhere in the vicinity of “murder hornets” on the list of things we’d rather not have to deal with right now.

Yet, someone spotted a gigantic black snake curled in a tree in Frick Park. Not deep in the Amazon or in some darkened corner of the zoo, but in Frick Park, between Squirrel Hill and Regent Square.

Luckily, it doesn’t seem to be part of any new plague.

Pittsburgh Public Safety tweeted Thursday afternoon that reptile specialists helped Animal Care and Control identify it as a black rat snake. It is native to the area and is not venomous. The snakes can, however, grow up to 7 feet long.

Final Update: The experts have spoken!
We thank the reptile specialists at the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium for identifying the Frick Park snake as a Black Rat Snake.
We thank the public for their interest and for helping us identify this park visitor.

— Pittsburgh Public Safety (@PghPublicSafety) April 8, 2021

For more on the snake, read the story in the Tribune-Review here.

Michael Machosky is a writer and journalist with 18 years of experience writing about everything from development news, food and film to art, travel, books and music. He lives in Greenfield with his wife, Shaunna, and 10-year old son.