A woman in Austria had quite a shock as she was headed home from her local produce market where she regularly buys boxes of bananas. She picked up her order, noted that the bananas looked fine, and placed them in her backseat. While she was driving on the road, a motion in the backseat caught her eye. She glanced in the rearview mirror and that’s when she saw that she had a passenger she didn’t know about, and certainly didn’t want: a viper snake was slithering out of the banana box and on to the floor of the backseat.
While she said she was so horrified she nearly crashed her vehicle, she was able to contain her composure and drive to the side of the road, where she exited the car rapidly and screamed for help with the snake still inside. Fortunately, a local snake expert who is known as “Mr. Rattlesnake” was able to come, calm the woman, catch and identify the snake, which was not native to Austria. It was a non-venomous viper that was likely imported from a tropical area along with the bananas. It happens more frequently than you think. Unwanted guests show up in groceries — you can read about the family that found a scorpion in their groceries here.
The snake expert, Georg Jachan from Gföhl in Krems, said the snake may have even come from Spain, and that it was nothing to be concerned about. The snake looks far more formidable than it is, he said.
“It’s a harmless viperine snake which looks very similar to the venomous viper.”
As the snake had been evicted from its banana box home, it had nowhere to live, so the snake expert said he would keep it in his custody for a while. The snake did not bite anyone and nobody was injured during the retrieval process, including the snake. Jachan said the woman acted appropriately and all was well. He was able to catch the snake with special reptile equipment that he personally owns, he said.
“For now I am taking care of the snake.”
He said that often local areas where produce is grown are very secluded and the snake probably slithered into a box or boat without anyone noticing and was able to survive the journey for an unknown amount of time, then probably became frightened at the market, so it hid amongst the bananas.
[Stock photo courtesy of foxnews]