Calls came in Sunday night. Many thought they were dangerous poisonous snakes like copperheads or water moccasins, KAIT reported. Luckily one of the police officers knew the slithery serpents and determined they were all not venomous.
Paragould Police Detective Jack Hailey said officers responded Sunday night to the Walmart store in Paragould on a report of multiple snakes slithering around the parking lot.
— Region 8 News (@Region8News) April 25, 2017
“At first, they were saying the snakes were copperheads and water moccasins,” Hailey told KAIT-TV. “But, after we got one of our officers who is apparently some sort of snake whisperer, we learned that they were non-venomous garden snakes.”
Hailey said it appeared as though someone had captured the up to 40 snakes and dumped them in the parking lot.
“They were either herding the snakes when they were frog gigging or something,” Hailey said. “Either way, they were collecting them for this reason and I don’t think that was the best thing to do at all. Especially, those out there with a phobia.”
“[Venomous] or not, it is dangerous when you put snakes in a busy area,” Hailey said. “It could cause a panic with people trying to get away.”
Snakes in strage places is nothing new. In 2016 CBS Philly reports a passenger boarded a Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) bus with a snake. The rider then lost control of the snake, an approximately 4-foot-long boa constrictor, according to officials.