An Austrian man was bitten by an albino reticulated python while sitting on his toilet in his home in Graz, Austria. The 65-year-old felt a sharp nip on his genitals, before looking down at the over 5-foot snake filling his toilet bowl.
The snake, which reportedly escaped from a nearby home, slithered through the drains and ended up in the man’s toilet. The albino reticulated python bit the man when he sat on the toilet at around 5 a.m. Monday, though no permanent bodily harm has been confirmed.
The July 5 incident has many looking twice at their toilets before sitting, after the 65-year-old was hospitalized for his bite. “Shortly after he sat on the toilet the Graz resident – by his own account – felt a ‘pinch’ in the area of his genitals,” police explained in a statement. The nature of the man’s injuries is unclear and his identity has not been revealed by officials.
The albino reticulated python, which sports yellow and white scales, is native to Asia and can grow as large as 29-feet in length. The python, which escaped from a neighbor’s apartment, has not been specified as a baby, though it is relatively small compared to fully grown adults. The snake’s small stature allowed it to slide unnoticed into the neighbor’s toilet and through the drainage system, before finding its way into the unsuspecting man’s toilet bowl.
The incident, like something out of a horror movie, was not fatal, and the man is being treated for minor wounds at a nearby hospital. First responders contacted a reptile expert to remove the snake from the toilet, and the albino python was swiftly cleaned and returned to its owner.
The owner is now being investigated by authorities on suspicion of negligently causing bodily harm, after being reported to the prosecutor’s office. The albino reticulated python is only one of 11 total snakes that the 24-year-old neighbor owns. The neighbor also keeps a gecko in terrariums at his residence, though officials have not reported that any of the reptiles are illegal.
Though terrifying toilet snakes are not as rare as people might like them to be. Last year, a snake sunk its fangs into a boy’s genitals while he was going to the bathroom. The 4-foot python bit Siraphop Masukarat while he was enjoying viral videos on his phone.
Last year, a Texan recorded footage of a snake slithering from his toilet bowl. The video garnered 2.3 million views due to its fear factor. Thousands of commenters explained that they’d move if they experienced a snake in their toilet, or would never sit on the john again. One commenter even explained that a similar thing happened to a family member, who met a venomous copperhead while doing his business.
Many on social media are curious about why snakes are so commonly encountered in the bathroom. Ian Recchio, the curator of reptiles and amphibians at the L.A. Zoo, explained that snakes are “sleek animals that can fit into tight spaces in their environment and they feel more comfortable in tight, dark spaces.”
He continued, saying that “they’ll go into a pipe and feel very good about it and then navigate through the sewer system in some cases… finding their way up into somebody’s toilet.” There are many accounts of close encounters of the reptilian kind. Make sure you look twice!