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Snake slithers through St. Thomas, Ont. apartment as resident acts to help

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It was a surprising and slithering discovery for a St. Thomas woman.

On a cold and windy day last week, Tiffany Byers discovered a five-foot snake in her apartment building.

“As I’m leaving, I look down the stairs, and there’s a snake crawling up the stairs,” she recalled.

Startled, she filmed the snake for her sister, who arrived soon after to help Tiffany get it contained, warm and safe.

The pair then asked around, but no tenants said they were missing a snake. That left a mystery.

“I was just curious how it got into the building? What was it doing there? If it was OK?” she said.

Tiffany determined the snake was not venomous before hitting another hurdle.

Tiffany Byers stands at the bottom of a staircase inside her St. Thomas, Ont. apartment building on April 22, 2024 where a snake, affectionately know as Linguini, was discovered. (Sean Irvine/CTV News London)

“The problem was, I just really didn’t know who to call,” she explained.

St. Thomas animal agencies and the city couldn’t help, so she called the new Reptilia zoo in London.

They arrived within the hour to take the snake into their care.

It will remain in quarantine at the facility for two months before it is added to the corn snake display or utilized for education.

Its discovery is not unique, according to Reptilia's facility manager Darryl Nagy.

“Well over 85 per cent of the animals in Reptilia, from all locations, are donations surrenders or confiscations from law enforcement,” he explained.

Linguini the snake, who was found in a St. Thomas, Ont. apartment building in April 2024, is seen moments after being taken into care by Reptilla officials in London, Ont. Staff are treating are now testing the animal for any disease and offering care until it can join other corn snakes.(Source: Reptillia)

Nagy said snakes and reptiles can escape their enclosures if pet owners are not responsible. He also suggests that sometimes, the creatures are deliberately let loose.

Zookeeper Coty Holman said it is tragic, as well cared for corn snakes can be suitable pets.

“If you’re well equipped and willing to do the knowledge and care required these [corn snakes] can be a fantastic pet species," he said. 

As for the snake found in St. Thomas, Reptilla is thinking of naming him Ash or Charcoal as he doesn’t match the typical red body of his counterparts.

But Tiffany is hopeful the zoo will choose the name she gave the snake after it reminded her and her sister of a type of noodle.

“We’re all calling it Linguini,” she said. 

Zookeeper Coty Holman displays a corn snake that is part of a display at Reptillia in London, Ont. on April 22, 2024. (Sean Irvine/CTV News London)

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