When young Isac Mcfadden of Abilene, Texas, got up to use the bathroom recently, he found an unexpected surprise in the toilet.
But he knew the “clump” wasn’t the sort to handle on his own, so he called for his mum.
“I found this big clump and I knew it was (a) snake,” he told local CBS affiliate WTSP.
The boy’s mother took a shovel and killed the unwelcome toilet explorer. But they also called Big Country Snake Removal, just to make sure the issue was taken care of.
As Nathan Hawkins, the owner of the snake removal business, found out shortly after he arrived, there were 23 more of the rattlesnakes around. Thirteen were hiding out in a cellar and 10 were under the house, including five babies.
On the Big Country Snake Removal Facebook page, the team explained how so many of the creatures could be there and escape notice. “It’s actually quite simple; rattlesnakes are secretive and can be very cryptic — They rely heavily on their camouflage. This is simply how they survive. Just because you don’t see them doesn’t mean they aren’t there…”
As the Big Country team told Business Insider via Facebook, they’re able to remove the snakes without killing any of them using the right tools, which is what they did for the remaining snakes at the Mcfadden abode.
In general, they explained, snakes can be relocated to safer locations or donated to schools where they can be studied.
Western diamondbacks tend to gather in dens during the winter to keep warm, Hawkins told CBS News, which is why he knew to keep looking even after the Mcfaddens had disposed of the first one.
In these cases, calling an expert is always a good idea. People who aren’t sure what they’re doing and try to kill a snake are the ones more likely to be bitten, said Hawkins.
“They’re actually very, very amazing creatures that are really misunderstood,” Hawkins told CBS.
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