Would you like a snake with your baked beans? This Apex, NC Target shopper got the shock of her shopping life when she reached for a can of legumes, only to find a serpent slithering between them.
The Target in Beaver Creek Commons, Apex, is still unsure how, but a snake made its way onto their grocery shelves this week. One North Carolina woman caught her encounter with the reptile on camera – and it’s gone viral. Much to Target’s chagrin, we’re sure.
“I thought it was a child’s toy, so I thought, ‘oh my goodness someone is pranking me, where’s the camera this is a joke,’ because it was totally still,” says shopper Diane Dupre to local WRAL.
The snake, however, wasn’t a prank. Instead, it was a live, wild animal making its way through a very confusing situation. Looking at the footage, this author and wildlife technician sees a juvenile rat snake, which is definitely a good thing. This species, though they can look intimidating when fully grown, are non-venomous and pose no threat to humans. In fact, they’re rather marvelous with pest control and have cute little faces.
Still thinking the snake was a fake, Dupre whipped out her phone to take a snapshot of the amusing situation.
“The tongue came out and that’s how I knew this real…”
“As I zoomed in, I was going to take a photo, the tongue came out and that’s how I knew this is a real snake,” she recalls. Talk about a wake-up call!
Dupre was shopping alone, though, and wasn’t about to take on a live snake. Smart, as no snake should ever be handled by untrained persons. Especially since juvenile rat snakes can look remarkably similar to juvenile venomous species, of which there are six in North Carolina.
As such, she called for help in the middle of the canned goods isle. As Dupre puts it:
“I looked up and down the aisle and I was calmly freaking out… See, he’s slithering, oh my gosh I can’t even look at this. I’m telling the men to hurry.”
It was then that several Target team members came to Dupre’s aid, catching the small serpent and releasing it back into the wilderness.
‘This is for real’: NY Native Shocked to Find Snake in NC Target
According to WRAL, Dupre and her family are from cold upstate New York, where snakes are far less common. The snake was, in short, quite the shock to the shopper.
“I was like, ‘oh my goodness this is for real, this is N.C. and this is snake season and there is a snake on top of the baked beans here,'” she continues. An apt assessment!
When all is said and done, Dupre says this is one trip to Target she’ll never forget.
“Pretty exciting,” the NY native exclaims. “And a story I’ll be telling for years.”
As for how the snake wound up in a Target – that’s anyone’s guess. It is possible that the little one simply found its way into the warmth of the store through a crack under a door or in the foundation. Finding rat snakes indoors is all-too-common here in the south, as their slender shapes – even for a snake – allow them to come and go as they please with mere inch-wide openings.
Watch the encounter for yourself below, courtesy of WRAL‘s full report on the wild incident:
The Beaver Creek Commons Target tells WRAL that their crew immediately disinfected the snake’s whereabouts. The store also plans to bring in pest control experts to comb the store for more snakes. A smart move, as where there are rat snakes, there are mice and rats.