A baby snake showed up at an elementary school in Hector, Arkansas, and then bit the principal as she tried to remove it from a classroom.
On Monday, August 20, Hector Elementary School first-grade teacher Lisa Graves found the slithery reptile underneath a curtain that had fallen onto the floor of her classroom, reported the Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette.
The quick-thinking educator sent her students to the classroom next door and then called the school’s administrative office to alert them and find out how to proceed, noted UPI.
Fortunately, the school’s principal, Kara Rohr, had previous experience working as a park ranger in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, and Kentucky, and said she was always “comfortable around snakes.” Rohr was able to identify the creature as a speckled kingsnake, which is nonvenomous.
This particular snake, formally known as Lampropeltis holbrooki and also called the salt-and-pepper snake, is shiny and black with small, yellow spots, according to the Missouri Department of Conservation. They try to avoid summer’s hot temperatures by being more active at night, and when captured by a human, the snake will attempt to bite and smear a foul-smelling musk onto a person’s hands.
Afraid that the creature might slither away and hide underneath school furniture, Rohr decided she could not wait for the school’s maintenance team to arrive and would have to pick it up by herself — even though she knew there was a great chance that it was going to bite her.
Sure enough, as she reached down to pick up the coiled baby snake, it sunk its teeth into her thumb. The principal had to wait about five minutes after the bite before the snake relaxed its grip enough for her to pry open its mouth and pull it away from her finger. Rohr then placed the snake in a plastic bag.
“She was just as calm as could be,” said Graves about her boss.
The students were then allowed to return to their classroom where they got a lesson about snakes from the principal and were able to view the captured creature up close.
“The students saw the snake and really liked that,” said Rohr, according to the Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette. “They thought it was pretty cool.”
A maintenance man then took the snake to an area far away from the school and released it into the wild.
Watch Graves and Rohr discuss the unusual school incident in the video below.