BRUNSWICK, Georgia — Workers cooking burgers and tater tots in a Sonic fast-food kitchen fled after discovering an intruder hiding behind the deep-fat fryer.
Brunswick Police Lieutenant Matthew Wilson found Sonic drive-in employees huddled in the parking lot when he arrived for an investigation last Saturday. On the phone, they had described the perpetrator as brown with diamonds on his back.
“When I saw it, I could tell it was just a ball python and not a rattlesnake,” Wilson told The Brunswick News.
He not only removed the large, non-venomous snake, but also found it a new home with a friend who has a large terrarium and has a penchant for snakes.
Wilson says the python probably slipped into the Sonic’s kitchen through an open back door on May 21 and found a cozy place for its cold-blooded body behind the hot fryer.
Police don’t know where the snake came from, although Wilson says it was likely a pet released by its owner.
Eammon Leonard agreed. He is an invasive species biologist with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. Leonard said snakes are often an impulse buy and owners find themselves hesitant as their scaly pets get bigger.
“It could be that someone just hasn’t thought about the ramifications of having a large snake as a pet,” Leonard said. “Some people regret later and just let things go. It is absolutely irresponsible.”