Canberra, Australia (AP) —Alex White thought he was seeing a giant worm writhing in a plastic-wrapped lettuce that he had just brought back from a supermarket in Sydney.
“I was a little surprised when I noticed that this little tongue came out of my mouth and started flicking and the worm had no tongue, so it was a snake,” White said Thursday.
“I certainly got a little panicked,” he added.
Officials said they traveled 870 km (540 miles) from a plastic-wrapped Toowoomba packing plant to Sydney with a pair of lettuce.
The refrigerated supermarket supply chain could have plunged a cold-blooded boy until White bought lettuce at an ALDI supermarket in the city center on Monday night, put salad and snakes in his backpack and biked home. There is sex.
White and his partner Amelia Neat found the snake moving as soon as the lettuce was unpacked on the kitchen table.
They also quickly packed the reptiles with lettuce in a plastic food storage container as they noticed that the wrap was torn and the snakes could escape.
White called the WIRES rescue organization and a snake handler took the snake away that night.
Before the handler arrived, White said WIRES explained to him: “If you are bitten, you have to go to the hospital really early.”
ALDI is investigating how snakes can invade supermarkets.
“We worked with WIRES customers and teams to identify the natural habitat of snakes. This is certainly not an ALDI store!” A German-based supermarket chain said in a statement.
“We are working closely with our produce suppliers to investigate how this incident may have occurred,” says ALDI.
WIRES Reptile Coordinator Gary Pattinson said the snake was less than 20 centimeters (8 inches) long, but “it was more toxic than ever.”
Pattinson follows WIRES’s policy of returning rescued wildlife to its original location and is taking care of the snakes until returning to Queensland next week.
“This is the first snake I have ever had in a sealed packed produce,” Pattinson said. “We are always catching frogs.”
German immigrant Neat said in a retreat of her efforts to ensure that venomous snake brushes in Sydney’s kitchen don’t have to worry about Australia’s infamous outback wildlife. Said there is.
“For the past decade or so, I told my family at home that Australia is a really safe country,” Neat said.
“I’ve always said I’m in town. It’s perfectly fine here,” she added.