6-foot snake in TN bathroom startles man exiting the shower

6-foot snake in TN bathroom startles man exiting the shower

A homeowner in Tennessee found a six-foot rat snake on the floor of his bathroom when he got out of the shower on Monday, July 5, 2021.

A homeowner in Tennessee found a six-foot rat snake on the floor of his bathroom when he got out of the shower on Monday, July 5, 2021.

Trapper Jack Wildlife Specialist

A man getting out of the shower Monday in Tennessee was surprised to find a 6-foot snake slithering on the floor, according to removal specialists.

The creature was a rat snake — a nonvenomous snake that eats mice and venomous snakes, according to Dave Nipper, a technician with Trapper Jack Wildlife Specialist. Nipper was sent to remove the snake from a house in Murfreesboro, about 45 minutes outside of Nashville.

“Not a pleasant way to start your morning,” Nipper said of the homeowner’s discovery.

The homeowner fled the bathroom, closed the door and shoved a towel under the doorway before calling Trapper Jack around 8 a.m., Nipper said. By the time he arrived, the snake was coiled around a towel bar holder.

Nipper determined it was a relatively harmless rat snake and grabbed it by the back of the head to ensure it wouldn’t bite him. If it were venomous, Nipper said, he would have used snake tongs.

He said the snake was later released at Percy Priest Dam, an area designated by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.

After a brief inspection, Nipper said he found a piece of drywall had been cut out of the closet for plumbing repairs and was never replaced.

“That snake followed the plumbing for the bathtub out and then came out of that hole in the drywall,” he said.

Nipper said he finished the job in 10 minutes.

Rat snakes often turn up in crawl spaces and attics, Nipper said, which can make them difficult to track down. By the time a removal specialist arrives, they generally can’t find it.

“(Snakes) stay on the move for the most part,” he said.

Sometimes the creatures will follow electrical work or plumbing up through the floorboards, like what happened with this snake. Nipper said if the snake had wanted to, it probably would have gone right back through the hole in the drywall.

“If you can stick your pinkie in a hole, a snake can fit through it,” he said.

6-foot snake in TN bathroom startles man exiting the shower

Hayley Fowler is a reporter at The Charlotte Observer covering breaking and real-time news across North and South Carolina. She has a journalism degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and previously worked as a legal reporter in New York City before joining the Observer in 2019.