TUCSON, Ariz. – The pipes were hissing for one Arizona woman for all the wrong reasons.
Bryan Hughes, owner of Phoenix-based Rattlesnake Solutions, said one of his employees was called to a woman's home in the Catalina Foothills near Tucson late last month to catch what was called in as a rattlesnake seen in the toilet.
Michelle Lespron said she called Hughes and his team to eliminate her fear of getting bitten.
"So many people think this is fake, but I guarantee it’s real," she said.
Hughes laughed, saying if you do this type of job long enough – even though it's really rare – everybody will stick their hand in and grab a snake in the toilet at some point.
After three visits over two days, the snake handler was finally able to get his hands on a black-and-pink Coachwhip.
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Hughes said the snake is harmless but will bite if you pick them up.
"They're also very fast and hard to catch," he added. "If you manage to get a hold of one and get bitten by it, it's definitely a decision. That's not an accident. So they're not anything that anyone has to worry about."
Hughes said they are called to catch one or two snakes in toilets each year, and it is very uncommon.
"If anybody's worried about this or your next action of the day is to call your realtor, don't worry about it," Hughes said. "You're not going to have this happen, just once-in-a-million kind of thing."
Hughes said the snakes may get into the plumbing through vaults in septic systems, flushed in from other homes and a variety of other situations.
Regarding the snake found in the toilet, it was released safely back into its natural habitat.