Snake in the Lake: 'Don't Put Your Baby' in the Water, Official Says

Conflicting reports say swimming serpent between 8 and 20-feet in length.

Lake Hopatcong. Patch File Photo.
Lake Hopatcong. Patch File Photo.
Lake Hopatcong is home to the largest body of fresh water in New Jersey.

Now it's also home to a boa constrictor as big as 20 feet, according to witnesses. 

If witnesses are to be believed, swimmers and boaters need to be cautious until the serpent is caught, as Animal Control Officer Dale Sloat told CBS 2 News in the video above.

Sloat said in the segment he's worried about small animals, like dogs, cats and raccoons, coming in contact with the boa. The longtime animal control officer also warned residents not to put their babies in the lake, as a snake of this sized could likely swim up to 25 miles per hour.

Lake Hopatcong resident Michelle Poli told CBS she and her husband spotted the snake both in the water and on land. Sloat also said he believes the snake was likely someone's pet, got too big, and was released into the wild.

A Facebook page named "The BCP," which stands for The Byram Cove Party and has more than 3,200 followers, is an online meeting point where swimmers and boaters go to share photos and information about their adventures in Lake Hopatcong. The group's administrator left a post on Friday, saying:

Just In: the snake has been spotted between the Main Lake Market and the little beach area. Relax everyone It's only around 8 feet long

Local and state police were alerted to the swimming snake last week, when an unnamed resident reported seeing the serpent in the water with an estimation of at least 14-feet in length. 
Jessica Suto July 14, 2014 at 11:14 AM
Still no sightings after seeing it a dozen or so times? Still no photos? Did the snake go on a mini vacation for the weekend? I'd just like to know how this is confirmed as a boa, the answers to my questions? Who os thos "expert" setting traps, and why the false information provided to the media about snakes is being p uhh blushed without any confirmation? NJ Fish and Wildlife have a snake division, why has nothing been said from them, since animal control, in turn should have reached out to them first? Any insight on any of this would be beneficial.
B B July 14, 2014 at 02:07 PM
there's a snake in my boot.
Clay Thomas July 14, 2014 at 08:09 PM
Yep, boa dogs and boa sausage could put Hopatcong on the map!
Johnny ball binder July 15, 2014 at 10:20 AM
Know what your talking about before you start rattling off reptiles . First off there are no water Mocassins in Nj . Only 2 deadly snakes exist Copperhead and Timber Rattle look it up before you respond and l


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