By Madeline Farber, ,
Published September 27, 2018
Florida beachgoers spotted a rather unusual creature Tuesday emerging from the ocean: a possible diamondback rattlesnake.
Photos captured by local resident Rhonda Saunders show the serpent emerging from the water onto the Pensacola Beach.
The snake appeared to be “exhausted” and “trying to keep its head above the water,” Saunders told the Pensacola News Journal, adding a shocked crowd began to surround the creature. It's unclear where the snake came from.
Local animal control officials were called and the snake was eventually removed.
"[An animal control officer] scooped him up with a long-handled net, and dropped him into a carrier," Saunders told the Pensacola News Journal.
“Not much fight left in him,” she said of the snake.
While many beachgoers said the serpent was likely a diamondback rattlesnake, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission was unable to formally identify the snake based off photos alone, biologists with the organization told the newspaper.
Diamondback rattlers are capable of swimming, according to Reptiles magazine. These serpents are the largest venomous snakes in North America, National Geographic reported, noting they “generally live in dry, pine flatwoods, sandy woodlands, and coastal scrub habitats from southern North Carolina to Florida and west to Louisiana.”
Rhonda Saunders was not immediately available for comment when contacted by Fox News on Thursday.