It’s not everyday you find a snake cradled in your toilet bowl when you lift the lid. But that’s exactly what happened when a five-year-old boy went to use the bathroom in his own home in Southend, Essex.
The unwelcome visitor was a three-foot long baby royal python. While the python was completely harmless, the child suffered quite a scare. His mother, Laura Cowell, explained that her son was “frantic” and “shaking” after finding the python. She admitted that she immediately knew something was wrong but in no way expected to find a snake in her toilet.
Cowell called multiple companies for help before a local pet store came to the rescue. That pet store, Scales and Fangs, admitted that they do get a few calls once in a while about stray snakes in the garden. However, the store’s owner, Rob Yeldham, was surprised to find the python in the toilet. He figured it must have been an escaped pet from one of the Cowells’ neighbors. Yeldham speculates that the most likely explanation is that the python escaped from a neighbor’s home, swam into the sewer system – which, of course, is all connected – and swam up the u-bend of Cowell’s toilet.
Those of you who may be too wary to open your own toilets: rest assured. While the discovery came as quite a shock to the Cowell family, there were actually a few warning signs prior to the incident. Before her son found the python, Laura Cowell had noticed that the toilet was having issues. The toilet seemed to suffer blockage and the water wasn’t draining properly. And, to ease any lingering worries, Yeldham explained that the incident was the first in ten years that they’d found a snake in a toilet.
As for the baby royal python, Scales and Fangs plans to look after it until it can be rehomed. The python hadn’t been in the toilet or the sewer system long, as it was not underweight or unhealthy. However, it did suffer a little bit of scale rot from some bleach. Scales and Fangs will treat the snake and find it another great home if the original family does not come back to claim it.
Hopefully this new home won’t let the wandering python end up in someone else’s toilet.