Two San Diego office workers found a rather unfortunate surprise in the office restroom: a five-and-a-half foot-long boa constrictor slithering about.
Vertical PR + Marketing is headquartered in an 1800s-era building in San Diego that used to be City Hall, according to the Los Angeles Times. In such old buildings, some plumbing issues can be expected — and that’s exactly what Stephanie Lasca thought she was dealing with when she saw the water level in her office toilet higher than it should be. She grabbed a plunger.
After plunging a few times, a snake slithered out of the bowl, according to Newsmax.
“As soon I saw the flicker of its tongue, I definitely knew that it was, in fact, a large snake heading straight toward me.”
Lasca called her friend and colleague, Holly Wells, for help, according to News 24. The two women secured the bathroom door — with Scotch tape — and waited for the Department of Animal Services to arrive. While they were waiting, they could hear the boa constrictor moving around in the bathroom, at one point knocking over a trash can.
“It was terrifying. We had our feet up on the desk and we didn’t know what was coming next.”
Eventually an animal handler would arrive to help the poor beast (and, of course, the terrified office workers whose morning was ruined). The snake, identified as a Colombian Rainbow Boa, weighed in at five pounds – underweight, apparently – and was shedding. He or she was also in a foul mood – the boa bit the handler, who suffered a slight scratch but is otherwise okay (boa constrictors aren’t venomous, according to National Geographic).
As to how the boa constrictor would up in the office toilet is anyone’s guess. Wells seems to think it belonged to an upstairs tenant.
San Diego County Animal Control Deputy Director Dan DeSousa says boa constrictors, being reptiles, can survive just fine in modern plumbing systems.
“Snakes have a very low respiration rate, they can hold their breath for quite a long period of time so for a snake to come from an upstairs unit to a downstairs unit through the pipe, I think that’s highly possible.”
As of this post, Department of Animal Serivces employees are working to reunite the boa constrictor with its owner. If an owner can’t be identified, the snake will be sent to a group that rehabilitates rescued boa constrictors.
[Image courtesy of: L.A. Times]