It happens only in Australia: Snake surprises woman in supermarket
- The snake was 3-meter-long and non-venomous in nature
- Supermarket chain confirmed that a “slippery and rare customer was spotted in the spice aisle”
- The snake was released into nearby woodlands by the woman who spotted it
An Australian supermarket not only had different products up on sale for the customers to browse through and buy but also had a surprise visitor for them, as well. Helaini Alati was at the supermarket, looking for spice when she came face-to-face with a huge snake.
As she reached for the spice shelf, the head of the 3-meter-long (10-foot-long) non-venomous diamond python revealed itself through space in a shelf above the spice jars in the Sydney store.
“I was in the spice aisle just looking for something to put on my chicken that night so I didn’t initially see it because it was curled up way back behind the little jars of spices,” Associated Press quoted Alati as saying.
“I kind of turned to my right and it poked its head out.”
Alati, who coincidently is a trained snake catcher, said the snake's head came to within 20 centimeters (8 inches) of her own.
She was trained to catch venous snakes when she was a volunteer working for a Sydney wildlife rescue organisation several years ago.
“Thankfully, I have a background in snakes so I was pretty calm about it. It definitely shocked me a little bit because I wasn’t expecting it,” she added.
Supermarket chain Woolworths confirmed in a statement that a “slippery and rare customer was spotted in the spice aisle” on Monday morning at its store in the suburb of Glenorie on Sydney’s northwest outskirts.
“Once it was sighted, our team members reacted quickly and calmly to cordon off the area for the safety of customers,” the statement said.
Alati said she used her phone to video the snake as it extended its body from the shelf into the aisle before reporting the intruder to supermarket staff.
“I said: ‘I’ll go get my snake bag.’ I think they thought I was a bit crazy to be honest. I don’t think they knew what to say when I said there’s a 10-foot python in your aisle,” Alati said.
After getting a snake-catching bag, she caught the snake and then released it into nearby woodlands. However, it is unclear how or when the snake make its way to the supermarket.
Alati suspected that the snake was male and was looking to mate.
“I knew straight away it was non-venomous, it was non-aggressive, it wasn’t going to be a problem for anyone,” Alati said.
“If anything, I think everyone was a little bit excited. We’re all in lockdown so it was kind of like the most excitement we’ve had for a while,” she added.
(With inputs from Associated Press)