CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - There’s a slithering problem in Rogers Park, and it has slowed mail delivery to a crawl on one block.
Snakes are out and on the prowl. Garter snakes, to be specific, and there's a lot of them.
“First couple of days of spring there can be hundreds around,” said Bill Hawkins.
He’s not afraid of snakes, but he is afraid of what mail he might be missing because the mail carrier is deathly afraid of snakes and won't deliver to his half of the block.
“Rain, snow, but not the snakes?” Hawkins wondered, reflecting on the unofficial postal creed of "Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds."
Hawkins was outside Monday afternoon when several snakes stopped the carrier in her tracks a few houses down. He tried to help.
“Yeah I picked up a number of snakes and got them out of the way, I mean, they weren't really in the way, and showed her, she was freaked out about snakes completely,” Hawkins said.
One neighbor has put up a sign claiming their yard is a snake free zone, and begging to get their mail. For some, it's only been delivered twice in the last two weeks.
“We got it on a Saturday because it was a different letter carrier, and then we got it last Wednesday,” said Lisa Yanny-Tillar.
She says when she tried to complain to the post office, she was told she should call animal control.
“But I said they're like the bunnies in the neighborhood, they're not poisonous, they're not mine and they're everywhere on our block,” Yanny-Tiller said.
“Dogs are my biggest fear,” said mail carrier Beverly Harper, who works a nearby route. She said she never gave snakes a thought until FOX 32 told her about her colleague’s problem.
“I don't think I'll deliver their mail either, no way,” Harper said.
But on Chase Avenue, they are frustrated because the Post Office isn't doing anything about the problem and the mail carrier left a notice saying they had to provide an alternative mail receptacle if they wanted their mail.
“I think the fact that the snakes are the issue, that to me is in an irrational excuse to not deliver the federal post,” Yanny-Tiller said.
“I'm not wholly blaming her,” said Hawkins. “I'm more blaming her bosses for not getting someone else over here.”