A New York woman found something she most certainly was not looking for during a recent shopping trip: a snake had wrapped itself around the shopping cart.
As the Democrat & Chronicle reports, Laura Walitsky and her young daughter were shopping at the Wegman’s grocery store in Pittsford, in suburban Rochester, on Monday night when they got the most unwelcome surprise. Walitsky says she and her daughter were picking out their produce when the unnamed girl found something that shouldn’t have been there.
“Uh, Mom, there’s a snake on the cart,” she said.
Perhaps due to wanting to set a good example for her daughter by being calm in a stressful situation, or perhaps because she simply isn’t afraid of snakes, Walitsky remained calm as she and her daughter walked the cart outside into the parking lot. From there, she alerted a couple of employees.
“I said, ‘What do you think we should do with this?’ One ran in to get a manager,” the mother explained.
Another promptly handled the situation by grabbing the reptile and tossing it into some nearby woods, where it will be much more at-home than in a grocery store.
At this point you’re probably wondering what kind of snake Walitsky found on her shopping cart. Well, if you’re a herpetologist, you can take a look at the pictures below and hazard a guess. Otherwise, all will be revealed in the next paragraph.
You've heard of snakes on a plane…but what about snakes in a cart? A woman found a SNAKE in her cart @wegmans in Pittsford. She took the cart outside and employees helped her remove it. Wegmans officials say this was an isolated incident. pic.twitter.com/Zo0vdEywPq
— Kaci Jones (@WHEC_kjones) August 28, 2018
Bradley Cosentino, an associate professor of biology at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, was actually thrilled at Walitiski’s pictures, calling it a “cool find!” He also identified the beast as a milk snake, which is every bit as dangerous as it sounds. The small, non-venomous, non-aggressive snake can be found all over New York, and can generally be found around barns, where there are plenty of mice to eat. It is not dangerous to humans.
Meanwhile, in a statement, Wegman’s spokesperson Valerie Fox called the event “an isolated incident.”
As it turns out, finding strange animals in your groceries is far too common. Much of the produce we consume, such as bananas, is grown outside the country, and it can bring with it animals that slipped past the inspection process. According to a 2009 Scientific American report, spiders love to hitch rides on South American produce, including a venomous arachnid that turned up in some bananas at Whole Foods.