Featured Events

Community & Membership Meeting: Proton Therapy for Cancer

Learn about why Proton Therapy can provide an important alternative to traditional radiation treatment. This form of treatment which was only available in other parts of the USA now means that residents will have this form of treatment on their doorstep.

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Estero Park & Recreation Center, 9200 Corkscrew Palms Blvd
Estero, FL 33928 United States
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Village of Estero Meetings

01 May
9:30 am
14 May
15 May
9:30 am
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Safety Council

Engage Estero Safety Council is made of volunteers serving as a voice for the citizens of greater Estero on safety and transportation priorities and issues. We advocate for related solutions to Village, County, and State Government organizations.

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Road Safety in Greater Estero

Road Safety in Greater Estero

Road Safety in Greater Estero By Contributing Author, Mark Novitski, and Engage Estero Consultant.  Everyone has their definition of what determines road safety or, conversely, what makes our roads unsafe. In writing extensively about Corkscrew Road, I have...

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Sign-Up for Property Fraud Alerts

Sign-Up for Property Fraud Alerts

Clerk of the Circuit Court & Comprtroller Kevin Karnes is now offering an alert notification system for Lee County property owners to reduce fraud. When you sign-up, if a deed, mortgage, or other non-Court official record is recorded in your name, you will be...

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Environment Council

Engage Estero Environment Council is a volunteer group focusing on improving water and air quality and mitigating and eliminating the effects of climate warming in greater Estero.

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Health Council

Engage Estero Community Health Council comprises health* and safety-minded volunteers who think about community health comprehensively with a common desire to improve the overall health of the citizens of greater Estero.

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Let’s Make Estero A HeartSafe Community!

Let’s Make Estero A HeartSafe Community!

The facts Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) is the leading cause of death in the United States, claiming more than 300,000 lives annually. Approximately 95 percent of SCA victims die before they reach a hospital or receive medical attention. How Can We Help Reduce This...

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Education Council

Engage Estero mobilizes volunteers in our schools, sponsors scholarships, and promotes the involvement of the community through announcements and public forums.

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Estero High Cambridge Students Recognized

Estero High Cambridge Students Recognized

By Mike Wasson, Director, Engage Estero The Village of Estero Council issued a Proclamation its Meeting on Wednesday, March 6th honoring 39 Estero High School Students who were presented the Cambridge Outstanding Learners Awards. In his remarks, Jon McLain, Village of...

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Updates on Issues of Impact

Engage Estero believes the best way to get a community involved is to make sure they are aware of the issues impacting their future, and know how to impact those decisions before they are made. We conduct and publish original research and articles aimed at getting residents Engaged.

Venomous Snakes in Florida

Know What to Look For


With an increasing number of new residents with pets and young children living in greater Estero, the ECCL felt it appropriate to remind them and longer-term residents to be on guard when walking with children or dogs, especially in isolated and remote areas.

Four types of venomous snakes exist in the United States: rattlesnakes, copperheads, cottonmouths (also known as water moccasins), and coral snakes. Each year, more than 7,000 Americans are bitten by one of these snakes. Many bites result from individuals attempting to handle or kill the snake.

In Florida, only six of 44 snake species are venomous: the eastern coral snake, the southern copperhead, the cottonmouth, the eastern diamondback rattlesnake, the timber rattlesnake, and the dusky pygmy rattlesnake. However, the timber rattlesnake is only found in northern Florida.

It is essential to distinguish potentially venomous from non-venomous snakes. Here are some tips that may help you determine whether a snake is venomous or non-venomous.

There are three main distinguishing features associated with venomous snakes. These are:

  • Broad, flattened, arrow-shaped heads with narrow necks, while the heads of non-venomous snakes are long and slender
  • Venomous snakes have oval-shaped eyes like a cat’s eye, while non-venomous snakes’ eyes are round
  • Sensory pits located near the nostrils are also unique to venomous snakes

Rattlesnakes, copperheads, cottonmouths, and coral snakes are all considered pit vipers. These are venomous snakes distinguished by the pits (or holes) on their heads. Each snake has two pits that appear on its snout. These pits allow snakes to detect infrared radiation from prey.

cottonmouth(Photo left is a cottonmouth or water moccasin as it is sometimes called) 

Behavior is one component that may help identify snakes. An obvious way of identifying the rattlesnake is its behavior when threatened. They may shake the rattles on their tails to create a loud clicking sound as a warning to potential predators. Cottonmouths live in or near water and tend to be aggressive, not backing away when approached. Copperheads also live in wetland areas near forests and rivers and have a similar trait of not always backing away.

Unfortunately, the coloring of a snake is not a good method for distinguishing between a venomous and a non-venomous snake. When looking at the colorful coral snake, distinguishing it from the king snake is difficult at first glance. Venomous coral snakes and non-venomous scarlet king snakes have a banded pattern of yellow, brown, and black on their scales.

The difference between the two types is that the red bands touch the yellow bands on a coral snake, whereas the red bands touch the black bands on scarlet king snakes! (In the photo on the right, the king snake is on the left (the red band does not touch the yellow band) the coral snake is on the right (the red band touches the yellow band.)

Although differences between the eyes of venomous and non-venomous snakes can help to identify them, it may not be a practical means when walking! However, the difference is that, like a cat’s eye, venomous snake’s pupils are thin, black, vertical pupils surrounded by a yellow-green eyeball, while non-venomous snakes have rounded pupils.

If you encounter a snake, leave the area, and consider calling a wildlife professional who can help you identify the type of snake you have confronted.

The ECCL wishes everyone an enjoyable summer, and hopefully, the information provided will help you to identify snakes that could be harmful. If unsure of what type you encounter, give the snake a wide berth, and do not provoke it!

(Allan Bowditch, ECCL’s Chief Communications Officer)