Snake in Starbucks: You could say it was a “Grande-sized” surprise. For one coffee lover who went to use the facilities at a Texas Starbucks, he was greeted by a large snake hugging the rim of the toilet. Good thing he looked twice before… you know. UPI on Sept. 5 carried the strange story.
Businessman Bruce Ahlswede found the snake, thinking at first it was a prank. Then it moved. Bruce went back out to alert the barista that her duties had just changed from latte-making to snake-wrangling. Starbucks’ employees, Bruce and his wife all crowded into the small bathroom to get a look at the snake.
Before anyone could do anything about the snake, it disappeared, out of all places, down the toilet.
Bruce’s wife, Michele, managed to snap a photo of the snake and post it to Facebook.
“It had to have crawled up the pipes,” Michele wrote on her page. “I have heard of it happening but have never seen it in person. It’s a python; guess he like coffee also.”
Starbucks issued this statement about the incident:
“The safety of our customers is our top priority. We want all of our customers to have an enjoyable experience when they visit our stores, and we were concerned to learn of this incident. Our partners immediately contacted Animal Care Services. Animal Care Services does not respond directly to calls involving snakes. Rather, they refer snake calls to the South Texas Herpetology Association, which is who checked the store. They performed a comprehensive inspection of our store. South Texas Herpetology Association confirmed the store is safe for customers and partners and that there were no further safety concerns.”
That’s a long-winded way of saying ‘We never found the snake, but it should be OK. Just don’t sit on the toilet.’
Individuals who saw the snake and looked at the picture say it's most likely a common Texas rat snake, not a python. They aren't poisonous and pose no harm to humans. Rat snakes sometimes find their way into toilets and other plumbing.
Will Bruce and his wife be back? Yes, says Bruce, although he plans to be a little more cautious about his bathroom habits.
“Yeah, I'm going to take a closer look and definitely lift the seat and be a little more careful,” Ahlswede said. “Because you never know.”
Just don't forget to put the seat back down, his wife reminded him.