Rat snakes may be nonvenomous, but these large snakes are still capable of giving people who are unused to their presence quite the scare.
Rat Snake Takes A Break At Walmart
Recently, an employee at a North Texas branch of Walmart had a frightening experience when she stumbled upon a rat snake hiding in a collection of shopping carts by the parking lot last Friday, May 24.
According to the Northeast Police Department, a police officer who was on patrol in the area heard a loud scream from the parking lot. Upon arriving at the scene, the officer quickly found out why the employee shouted in surprise.
There was a big rat snake chilling on the shopping carts parked by the store.
Fortunately, the John Heckaman of Savannah in Texas, dubbed the "Snake Charmer" by the police officials, was around to help. Heckaman assisted with relocating the rat snake from its cozy hiding place and into the wild. Used to handling snakes, he was only bitten once throughout the ordeal.
A Rising Rat Snake Presence?
According to the National Wildlife Federation, black rat snakes are large non-venomous snakes that are typically 3.5 to 7 feet long. They are usually found in their habitats in fields, woodlands, farmlands, and suburban areas.
They're excellent swimmers and climbers, using these skills to hunt for food. These snakes are constrictors, using their body to suffocate their prey, which include rodents, birds, and amphibians. Black rat snakes are often found around buildings as they wait for their prey.
"Recent heavy rains are forcing a lot of snakes out of their natural habitats, and this goes to show, that they can turn up just about anywhere," the police explained on the Facebook post.
Just a few days before one showed up at Walmart, two huge rat snakes were spotted fighting over a female near Charlotte, North Carolina. Wildlife experts were astonished at the sight, saying that it's a rare thing to witness.
"You don't get to see that in the wild too often. I was shocked and amazed at the same time by it," Keenan Scott Freitas, a reptile rehabilitator at Carolina Waterfowl Rescue, explained to the Charlotte Observer. "It's usually the type of thing you only see on National Geographic. That's because they (rat snakes) are terrified of humans and usually flee when they see one. They don't stick around and continue to fight."