A snake in a Starbucks bathroom startled a Texas man who was about to use the toilet. Bruce Ahlswede had just finished a business presentation and stopped at Starbucks when he found the long snake laying motionless on top of the toilet.
A snake in Starbucks couldn't possibly be real, Ahlswede first thought, considering it a toy left by a prankster. However, once the snake began to move, he knew he had to notify someone.
"I said, 'Hey you know you've got a snake in your bathroom and she's kind of freaking out,'" the man told KSAT, describing the way the animal had begun moving once discovered. "So we went back in and watched it as it slithered back and around and down underneath the rim of the bowl and right inside."
Ahlswede's wife Michelle took a picture of the snake and posted it to Facebook, confirming many people's fears about animals coming up through the pipes.
"A lot of people were really freaked out and some said thanks a lot, they were over their phobia of this ever happening," she said.
Had Ahlswede and the Starbucks employees known the animal was most likely a harmless Texas rat snake- that is what experts have claimed based on Michelle's photo- perhaps they could have handled it on their own. But the Starbucks employees took no chances, calling Animal Care Services, which referred them to the South Texas Herpetology Association.
The snake was never found, but Starbucks did address the situation, saying "the safety of our customers is our top priority."
"[The South Texas Herpetology Association] confirmed the store is safe for customers and partners and that there were no further safety concerns," Starbucks said in a statement.
The Ahlswedes said they'll be more careful when using the bathroom from now on.
"I'm going to take a closer look and definitely lift the seat," Bruce told KSAT. "Because you never know."