This Is Not What You Want to Find in Your Toilet

Tucson woman discovers a snake in her bathroom after 4 days away
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 14, 2023 12:20 PM CDT
This Is Not What You Want to Find in Your Toilet
A coachwhip snake found inside a toilet in a home in Tucson, Arizona, on July 16.   (Nikolaus Kemme/Rattlesnake Solutions via AP)

Like a scene out of a horror movie, Michelle Lespron returned to her home in Tucson, Arizona, to find a snake had set up camp in her toilet. "I'd been gone for four days and was looking forward to using my own restroom in peace. I lifted up the lid and he or she was curled up," Lespron told the AP. "Thank God the lid was closed." The encounter happened July 15. But Lespron has been getting messages from family, friends, and even people she went to high school with since Rattlesnake Solutions, a Phoenix-based company that removed the snake, posted an employee's photos. A 20-second video shows the snake being pulled out of the toilet bowl and then hissing straight at the camera. "Everybody has the same reaction: 'Oh, my God, that's my worst nightmare,'" she said.

Other people thought it was a prank video and the snake was a prop. "Even my law partner was like, 'Haha. Nice gag,'" says Lespron, a personal injury attorney. Lespron says her father tried to wrangle the snake that same night, but it slithered away. So, she called Rattlesnake Solutions the next morning. It took the handler—who Lespron calls "my hero"—three tries to get the black and pink coachwhip snake firmly in his grasp. He was able to wrestle the snake with one hand while capturing it all on his cellphone with the other. The handler later released the snake, which measured between 3 feet and 4 feet long, in a natural habitat elsewhere.

Bryan Hughes, the owner of Rattlesnake Solutions, said it wasn't the first time his employees have seen a coachwhip snake in a home, though it's rare to find reptiles in residences. "A coachwhip is a fast, intelligent snake," he tells the New York Post. "It eats rattlesnakes, it climbs trees, it climbs houses, it does what it wants." Fortunately for Lespron, the species is nonvenomous. Still, she was taking no chances. After her reptile run-in, Lespron used her guest bathroom for three weeks before feeling comfortable enough to go back to her own. And she no longer enters the bathroom in the dark and always lifts the toilet lid ever so slowly.

(More snakes stories.)

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