Witness to snake bite at N. Mississippi Lowe's speaks out

Published: Jan. 20, 2015 at 5:36 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 21, 2015 at 9:49 AM CST
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A witness snapped this photo at the Corinth, MS Lowe's. (Photo Source: Brock Hamilton)
A witness snapped this photo at the Corinth, MS Lowe's. (Photo Source: Brock Hamilton)

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Imagine finding a snake after opening a cabinet at your local hardware store.

"Next thing you know, hear this wailing, screaming in the back of the store," recalled witness Brock Hamilton.

Police say a chicken snake bit a man on his head in the Corinth, Mississippi Lowe's. The animal latched on until first responders could cut the animal free.

"This man has a wrap around his head," said Hamilton. "The snake had jumped out from the top cabinet, bit him right between the eyes."

Chris Baker handles snakes at the Memphis Zoo.

Baker showed WMC Action News 5's Michael Clark a rat snake -- a similar serpent to the snake believed to have bitten the customer Saturday.

"The best scenario that I could give you as to why you'd have a snake there is that it hitchhiked a shipment from a warmer climate," said Baker.

The victim was taken to a hospital and is expected to recover.

A Lowe's spokesperson couldn't comment on the investigation.

Baker says the snake was likely protecting its territory. Unfortunately for the victim, that territory was a cabinet on the sales floor.

"I stayed around the store and continued my shopping," said Hamilton. "I made sure to check the shelf before I picked up anything the rest of the day."

Baker says snakes can seek warmth in garages and barns during the winter.

Most snakes aren't likely to attack, but if they've been hiding all winter, be careful what door you open.

"This is the time of year when you won't encounter them outdoors much because of the temperature," said Baker. "But if you have a heated structure that you don't use much, like a garage, there's a good chance the snakes have decided to over winter there."

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