A 63-year-old man recently bought a bag of broccoli, and when he opened it, he found something inside that scared him. TVBS says that Neville Linton of Birmingham, UK, went to an Aldi store to buy broccoli to put in his fridge.
When he took the plastic wrap off the kitchen counter three days later, he found a snake hiding in one of the stems of the veggie. Neville Linton found out it was still living after a careful look.
Mr. Linton, who was scared, said, “It was pretty scary. I don’t like snakes. If I had just left the broccoli out in the kitchen, it would have been running around the house.”
A sneaky snake scares a person shopping for groceries.
Mr. Linton cleans factories for a living, and he has a fear of snakes. Ann-Marie Tenkanemin, who is 57 years old, stepped in to help. They put the broccoli in a tub and went to the Aldi store, where Mr. Linton got the bag of vegetables. What the store manager saw made him feel scared.
“I thought she (sister) was joking at first, but I backed off when I saw it start moving. “The guy in the shop was also pretty scared,” said Mr. Linton. Later, Mr. Linton and his 41-year-old son, Donovan, took the animal to Dudley Zoo to find out what it was. There, they learned that it was a young ladder snake.
The zoo staff said that even though the snake wasn’t poisonous, it can still give a nasty bite to a person. Even though he was given some money, Linton thinks he should get more because the snake was dangerous to his crippled son and his mother-in-law, who lived with him.
He was worried about them, so he said, “That would have been a huge risk for us because we live with two people who are weak.” It just doesn’t cut it. If it had gotten out of the house, it would have meant a lot for us. Plus, I’m afraid of snakes, so that makes me feel bad as well.”
The boss of the Aldi store says that no other customers have complained about the same thing. But they will set up a plan for preventing SOP so that it doesn’t happen again, and more customers will feel comfortable shopping at their store again.
“This kind of report has never been made to our supplier, and they have strong systems in place to stop it from happening. A spokesperson for Aldi said, “We are looking into this one-off case and have told Mr. Linton that we are sorry that our usual high standards were not met.”
What kind of snake was it?
A Dudley Zoo expert told Linton’s son, Donovan, who is 41 years old, that the animal was a young ladder snake. Even though they look scary and can bite pretty badly, they don’t have poison. They live in many parts of Europe, like Spain, Portugal, and some parts of Italy and France.
They like to live in places with a lot of low shade, like hedges, woods, vines, rodent burrows, hollow trees, orchards, and boulders. Most ladder snakes live alone, are violent, and are very protective. They keep people away by snapping their sharp teeth and letting out a bad smell. Even though they eat meat, they don’t go after people.
Instead, they eat birds, spiders, lizards, insects, and rodents like mice and rabbits. The snake that got into the broccoli is now living at the Dudley Zoo.
Dr. Steven J. R. Allain, a herpetologist, says it is a viperine water snake, which is less dangerous. Allain said, “After looking at the real photo of the snake in the broccoli, I’m not sure the zoo got the species right.” “From what I know, the snake is a viperine water snake (Natrix maura), which is a harmless fish-eating species that lives in southwestern Europe and northern Africa.”
He has an idea about how it could have gotten into the broccoli. “Since a lot of the food that is grown and brought into the UK comes from the Mediterranean, it is not surprising to find a species from this area in some veggies that were probably grown there. My guess is that the snake was moving through the field at the time before it was picked up by farm equipment and then hid in the broccoli.
Not as scary as they look.
“Viperine water snakes are only dangerous to fish or frogs. They don’t bite people as a way to defend themselves (they’d rather play dead), and people don’t think they’re dangerous.
Also, these snakes can go for months without eating, especially in cold places like a refrigerator, where their metabolism slows down. But the snake wouldn’t have liked going from the warm Mediterranean to a colder, drier drawer.
But whether the snake was a viperine water snake or a ladder snake, Allain wants to teach people about this species. If people knew more about these delicate and often misunderstood animals, they might be less afraid of them.