Hitchhiking snake catches bus ride to school
Posted by Miqe on May 1, 2007
Animal Control, police, faculty pursue reptile
Snake on a bus? Sounds like a sequel to the Samuel L. Jackson movie, Snakes on a Plane.
Just after 2 p.m. Monday, there was a four-foot snake on the Lafayette High School campus. There were people chasing it. But there were no cameras, no lights, no deli tray.
A non-venomous snake of the “Elaphe” genus, commonly called a chicken snake or rat snake, arrived at the school wrapped around the mirror on a school bus just before classes let out at 2:15 p.m.
The unidentified bus driver chased the snake with a stick before it was caught by Rosey Kyle, a forensics science teacher and admitted snake lover.
“Someone told her it wouldn’t look right to be holding a snake while parents are coming to pick up their children, so she put it in the bed of the truck,” Principal Pat Leonard said.
The truck is Leonard’s quad-cab black Dodge Ram 1500, which was parked in his assigned space near where the buses line up each afternoon. The snake made its way out of the bed of the pickup and ducked underneath, coiling itself inside the spare tire well under the bed.
Lafayette Police and Animal Control agents responded to calls from parents about a snake loose on the school’s campus. Animal Control agent Rick Fugler and Kyle spent the next 25 minutes trying to remove the snake to no avail.
“He’s pretty,” Kyle said as she rubbed grease and dirt from her face. “I have 11 snakes at home. I rescue them. Vets call me all the time. As long as it doesn’t eat a teenager, I’ll take it.”
Kyle said she intended to take the snake to her home in rural Duson just off Fieldspan Road and set it free. However, the snake had other plans.
Officials left the snake in the tire well and left the scene. Leonard said he wasn’t concerned the snake would bite a student.
“With all the noise and everything, I don’t think he’ll come out until after the principal gets home and things quiet down,” Fugler said. “Besides, he’s the kind of snake you want around. They eat mice.”
The story changed as the minutes wore on. Some students said the snake was a rattlesnake. Others said it was a moccasin. None would comment, but officials remained certain the visitor was a harmless rat snake.
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