KENBRIDGE, Va. (WTVR) — A trip to a grocery store turned into a nightmare for a woman in Lunenburg County, Virginia.
Kimberly Slaughter dropped by Shoppers Value in Kenbridge to pick up a few groceries when she noticed what she believed were mouse droppings on a packaged bag of popcorn.
"I was like, I'm not getting that bag," she said. "So I put it on the bottom shelf because there was already mouse poop covering the bottom shelves."
Slaughter said there were sticky rodent traps on the bottom shelf as well. She then went to grab another bag of popcorn, but noticed that bag had a small hole in the top right corner.
"As soon as I went to put the bag in my basket to take it up front because, you know, they can't sell it. The thing had popped out, and you know, I was like, 'Oh, well, hi!'"
That "thing" was a snake.
Slaughter said she immediately pushed her grocery cart, with the bag of popcorn and snake still inside, to the front of the store to let an employee know about the issue.
"They're like, this doesn't ever happen here," she explained. "But the bottom shelf has no merchandise on it because of the simple fact that mice get on it."
While she was at the front of the store, Slaughter said the snake crawled out of the bag, down the side of the shopping cart before returning to the popcorn bag.
"It was the full length of the cart," Slaughter said "It had prime real estate though."
According to Slaughter, an employee removed the snake from the store,.
"I have a baby, and he is just starting to walk. So imagine if he was a little bit older, or if my niece had gone and been like, 'Hey, I want some popcorn,' and grabbed that bag and it bit her. It's not safe. It's not healthy."
Scripps station WTVR reached out to the store manager, Brian Stanley, about the issue. He said the reptile was a small black snake.
"We have no idea where it came from," he said. "We are investigating trying to find out where it came from, but we have no other indication that there could be any others."
When asked about the rodent droppings and traps, Stanley said he wasn't aware of any mouse traps at the store at the time because he wasn't there.
"We use mouse traps sporadically when we have a need for them, but more so for prevention," he explained.
Slaughter said she plans to report the incident to the Virginia Department of Health, but she doesn't want the store to shut down for good because it's one of the only places to purchase groceries in the small town.