Snakes in unexpected places can startle anyone. For Bruce Ahlswede the unexpected place was a San Antonio Starbucks bathroom, where he had stopped on Tuesday after a business presentation.
He froze for a moment thinking the snake, lying across the toilet, was a toy left by a prankster.
Then it started to move. He backed out of the room and found a store employee.
Bruce, his wife and store employees all crowded into the bathroom and watched as the snake, perhaps just as surprised as the rest, slithered around the toilet bowl and disappeared, the station reported. Ahlswede’s wife, Michele, managed to snap a photo. She promptly posted it to Facebook.
How did it get there? By crawling around in the pipes and perhaps through the sewer system? Was it someone’s pet who has either been flushed down the toilet or escaped from its owner.
A snake expert says it was most like a rat snake, which are not poisonous. The University of Austin Amphibian and Reptile Diversity Research Center says rat snakes pose no threat to humans, other the the scare factor.
I’m not convinced the snake came through the pipes. It’s not a water snake, it still has to breathe. But rats do occasionally navigate through pipes and come up in the toilet. According to this piece, it’s rare for surprise snake appearances in the toilet but not impossible for them to have come through the pipes, I guess. I think we may want to consider some shenanigans in this case.