A Bronx man went to see a man about a horse Monday night only to find the beady red eyes of a three-foot yellow-and-white corn snake staring back at him from his toilet seat. Apparently the relative venom content of Southeastern snakes is something one now has to keep track of, even if you reside on the nineteenth floor of an apartment in Soundview. (This one was nonvenomous.) Authorities are unsure whether it entered through the pipes, a hole in the wall, or a heating duct. We can't decide if this is better or worse than finding a rat in your commode. But if a third non-toilet-native animal shows up, we're calling it a trend.
1. It is "within the realm of possibility," says herpetologist Jack Conrad, for a snake to crawl up plumbing pipes and emerge from a toilet. Good thing you never try to sit on those with your pants down or anything.
2. "All snakes are good swimmers." According to Conrad, who co-curates a snakes-and-lizards exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History, "Snakes can hold their breath for a long time." Clearly through the years, nature has selected in favor of those that can survive the journey to where you pee.
3. "Snakes are notorious for being escape artists who can fit their bodies in places that you would never think possible," says Bronx Zoo director Jim Breheny. The possibilities are endless!