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Snake pops out of Australian grocery store shelf, local woman helps catch and release reptile

Jack Arthur



PHOTO: Screenshot/BBC

A python emerged from a grocery store shelf in Sydney, a city on Australia’s east coast, and surprised a grocery store patron earlier this week.

25 year old Helaina Alati, was shopping at a Woolworths when the 3 metre long snake pushed itself out of a shelf full of spices. Reportedly, the Woolworths supermarket is situated on edge of a wide expanse of bushland on the outskirts of the city.

Helaina, who happens to be a wildlife rescuer and has a familiarity was snakes, says she turned her head to see the snake about 20 centimetres from her face staring back at her. According to the BBC, she did a double-take from the spice shelf visitor but managed to stay calm.

The 25 year says she knew immediately the snake was a diamond python and that it wasn’t venomous.

“He was looking straight at me the whole time, almost like he was saying, ‘Can you take me outside, please?'”, says Helaina who filmed the encounter and then told staff about the python in their store, adding that she could help the store remove the reptile.

True to her word, Helaina got a snake bag from her house and went back to the grocery store. She says she tapped the snake on the tail, who then slithered into the bag. Helaina says she then released the snake, away from homes, into the bushland.

Helaina Alati

PHOTO: Helaina Alati/Facebook

Helaina says she has performed at least 20 snake rescues by now. She went on to add that the snake, possibly a diamond python, probably stayed in the store overnight likely starting off in the ceiling where diamond pythons prefer to nestle. Helaina adds that the snake may have been lurking on the shelf all morning as dozens of people passed near it, unaware of the 3 metre snake while they grabbed spices.

The Australian woman says her friends have made jokes in the past where they called her “the snake girl”. Helaina says snakes kind of gravitate toward her.



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Jack is from the USA, has a B.A. in English, and writes on a variety of topics. He lives in Thailand.

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