Watch a Bold Snake Casually Swim Down a Flooded California Street

Written by Opal
Published: January 30, 2023
© Creeping Things/
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One of the states in North America that can experience extreme droughts is California. Though the Golden State is known for beautiful landscapes such as Big Sur, the star-studded Walk of Fame, and plenty of sunshine, it still needs plenty of rain.

During the winter of 2023, California saw quite a bit of rain. While this initially sounds like a good thing, too much rain can cause just as many issues as not enough of it. Certain portions of the city of Petaluma are susceptible to flooding after heavy rains because waters can flood parking garages, footbridges, viaducts, and basements in addition to covering low-lying roads. 

The City has policies in place to control a flood emergency and regulate the floodplain. A video uploaded to Youtube is gaining traction after a resident filmed something peculiar in the flood waters! 

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Crissy Pascual is an Argus-Courier photographer and captured a large California kingsnake slithering along Petaluma Boulevard North. Don Frances posted a stunning photo of the snake in the water on Twitter. 

The majority of California, surrounding states, and northern Mexico are home to California kingsnakes. They will survive in a variety of habitats, including wetlands, meadows, forests, shrubs, and deserts.

One thing that’s unique about this situation in Petaluma is that California kingsnakes aren’t seen too often during winter months. These snakes brumate during the winter by hiding in cracks or behind rocks, lumber, or another shelter.

Brumation is defined by Webster’s Dictionary as, “To be in a lethargic state, somewhat analogous to hibernation but not the same.” 

California Kingsnake Facts

In contrast to ambush hunters, California kingsnakes are active. They don’t wait for their next food to come to them; instead, they go in pursuit of food. Despite being mostly terrestrial, they can swim and climb trees

Known kingsnake predators include skunks, foxes, hawks, and other raptors. This species of snake will hiss, shake its tails, and curl up into a ball for protection when they feel intimidated.

A California mountain kingsnake crawling over the skull of a cow
California kingsnakes are available in many colors, the most common being alternating dark and light bands.

©Ann May Snz/

The California kingsnake is one of the most well-liked snakes kept in captivity because of how easy it is to care for them and the variety of colors they come in. These snakes typically have yellowish-white streaks running across their deep brown or black bodies. 

The moniker “king” relates to their proclivity to hunt and consume other snakes, notably dangerous rattlesnakes that are often native to their natural environment. Although California kingsnakes are generally diurnal, they may start to spend more time at night during especially hot conditions. 

Although they are regarded as non-lethal to people, this species is known to bite when handled and will expel musk and feces from its cloaca. You’ll find these slithering serpents reproducing in the springtime. 

They will usually lay between five and 12 eggs in what’s called a clutch. While there’s no way of knowing, we hope the snake in this video found dry land and a log to hide under for the remainder of winter! 

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California Kingsnakes (Lampropeltis californiae) are called kingsnakes because they sometimes eat other snakes, as does the king cobra.
© Creeping Things/

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About the Author

When she's not busy playing with her several guinea pigs or her cat Finlay Kirstin is writing articles to help other pet owners. She's also a REALTOR® in the Twin Cities and is passionate about social justice. There's nothing that beats a rainy day with a warm cup of tea and Frank Sinatra on vinyl for this millennial.

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