An Australian woman was shocked when she returned home from her local grocery store, having done her weekly shop, only to find a large, white-crowned snake sleeping inside a net of potatoes she had purchased.
The shopper, Lewina Stewart from Toowoomba in Queensland, bought the veggies at her local Woolworths on March 10, but reportedly kept the potatoes for a week in her cupboard before discovering the snake.
When Stewart called the snake catcher, Ritchie Gilbert, and he arrived to deal with the snake, he told reporters, “It was sealed packet so it would have been in there before it was sealed. There are tiny holes in the bag but it would have been too small for the snake to get in.”
The snake catcher also explained how the snake most likely found its way into the sack of potatoes.
“It is a mildly venomous snake. It will burrow under foliage and soil, so I’m not surprised it could have been pulled up with the potatoes,” he said, adding, “This would have to be the strangest place [to find a snake].”
And there’s no question that Gilbert is a busy snake catcher, as he explained, “I find them in people’s shoes, under people’s pillows, in people’s toilets. You name a place I’ve done it – cars, everything. I caught six today [alone] so it’s not wonder I find them in strange places.”
The snake found in the potatoes bought from Woolworths comes just a month after redback spiders were found in some green grapes sold at the store.
At the time, the woman who found the spiders, Ms Alexander-de Jersey, told the press, “It wasn’t until I had picked it up by a leg and it started to wriggle around and turn that I realised what it was and dropped it real quick. I initially thought it was just a part of the grape stem.”
Woolworths have said they are looking into the incidents of spiders and snakes found in their produce.