A man was left frightened and “shaken” on Saturday morning after discovering a snake while he was trying to go to the bathroom.
The incident took place in the town of Broxburn in West Lothian, Scotland, located roughly 12 miles west of Edinburgh. Speaking with local news outlet Edinburgh Live, Terry Fairley said that he had been returning home from a late night at a nearby pub in the early hours of Saturday morning, around 1:15 a.m. local time, and went to use the bathroom.
Once he sat down on the toilet, however, he received a nasty shock when he noticed a snake slithering on the ground in his hallway.
“I came in and went to the toilet but while I was sitting down I saw a long thing on the floor in the hall opposite the toilet,” Fairley said. “I jumped up off the toilet and let out a scream. I did not know what to do, I knew neighbor upstairs had or still has snakes and there’s bit of neighborly falling out going on but I still went to the door and banged on his door whilst I was on the phone to 999.”
In attempting to figure out the situation, Fairley initially called 999, the United Kingdom’s emergency phone line, similar to 911 in North America. After that, he attempted to talk with an upstairs neighbor about the matter, as Fairley was aware that they owned snakes as pets, but he was unable to get a response by knocking on their door. Fairley noted that he had recently been in conflict with the neighbor, leading him to suspect that the snake might have been left in his apartment deliberately. Following that attempt, he was able to get help from another neighbor in the building who was not alarmed by the reptile and was able to get it into a glass jar.
“I was put through to Police Scotland [after calling 999] as they said to go to the neighbor in case snake was his,” Fairley continued. “I didn’t get any answer but the other neighbor and his partner came down and they put a towel over the snake as well as the glass jar it was in so it didn’t get distressed. The two lads took it away upstairs with them as they were not as scared as me so it was removed safely by the couple until the SSPCA can come safely today and take it away.”
It is not clear at this time precisely how large the snake was, though a photo included in local reports indicates that the reptile was small enough to fit in the palm of someone’s hand when coiled up. It is also unclear which species the snake might have been. Few species of snake exist in the wild in Scotland, with the Scottish Adder being the only one native to the region. While venomous, Scottish Adders are known to be timid and unlikely to bite humans. Given the possibility that the snake was a neighbor’s pet, it could also have been a non-native species.
Newsweek reached out to the Scottish SPCA via email for comment.