Pet shop downplays customer's snake surprise

An Australian pet store which accidentally sent a customer home with a snake when all she wanted was a parrot is downplaying its mistake.

The unnamed customer purchased the bird and a cage from Macarthur Pets and Reptile Shop in Sydney last weekend, Yahoo News Australia reports.

But when she got home, the unwanted purchase made its presence known.

"I was shocked to find a snake rearing up and lunging at me and my kids," she told Yahoo.

"As it was brown in colour and browns are common in our area, I was immediately concerned that it was venomous. I had no idea if it was poisonous or not and if my children were in immediate danger."

She eventually caught the caramel coastal python in a Tupperware container, and took it back to the store. Staff apologised, but the store's owner was less sympathetic.

"I understand it would have been absolutely terrifying for her but we're not talking about a massive snake," owner Lani Welling told Yahoo.

"In fact, when that snake was returned it bit my son on the hand and he didn't even bleed."

It turns out the snake was a baby which had escaped from its enclosure a week earlier.

The mother was given a AU$50 credit by way of apology.

Last week Australian scientists sought to shed the country of its reputation for dangerous snakes, pointing out far fewer people die from bites there than in India.



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