Two women in the Southlands neighbourhood of St. John's met an unexpected acquaintance on a recent walk — a garter snake on Southlands Boulevard.

Chanté Squires and Emily Rollings were walking near the local Walmart on Tuesday, when they saw the reptile on the sidewalk.

"I definitely did not expect it, so I screamed and jumped back," said Rollings.

"I love snakes, but it was definitely surprising."

Squires decided to pick up the snake, while Rollings filmed the encounter. Both women have had a lifelong love of reptiles, so while seeing the snake was a shock, they were more intrigued than scared.

"I love snake and I've loved reptiles for a long time," said Squires. "So it was pretty cool to run into one. I knew how to react and everything. I knew how to hold it, I knew how to deal with it."

While garter snakes have been found breeding in Western Newfoundland, the animals are rarely seen on the Avalon.

The snake excreted a strong scent as a defence mechanism, which Rollings described as "sewagey."

After holding it for a few minutes, the women moved the snake away from the road and watched it slither off.

"When you catch a snake you're probably better off moving it away from civilization or as far away as you can from it getting hurt, because it'd be cool to have them here," said Squires.

Snake in Southlands found dead

After hearing reports of the snake in the Southlands area, conservation officers from the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture attempted to find and trap it.

When the snake was located, however, it was dead.

A spokesperson for the department said the snake's body will be examined by the Environment and Conservation department.