A resident of Chula Vista, California was thrown into a state of panic upon discovering an unexpected visitor lurking in his couch. Rather than just loose change, the man stumbled upon a rare snake coiled up inside his furniture. Following the unsettling encounter, the homeowner reached out to So-Cal Rattlesnake Removal for assistance. According to the company’s owner, Alex Trejo, though he frequently receives similar requests, this particular incident was quite uncommon.
“This guy calls me, is pretty frantic, and he’s like, ‘There’s a snake in my couch’,” Alex Trejo, owner of the So-Cal Rattlesnake Removal told KGTV. “My first thought was that it could have been a lizard or non-venomous snake,” Trejo told USA TODAY. “When I arrived, everyone was standing outside the house.”
When Trejo arrived at the scene and approached the couch, he noticed an atypical pattern between the cushions. To his surprise, he discovered a snake that was not indigenous to California hiding inside the furniture. Upon closer inspection, he identified the creature as a Vietnamese blue beauty rat snake, which is typically found in Asia. Trejo speculates that the nonvenomous snake was likely a pet that had escaped from its owner and eventually found its way into the couch. It is legal to keep this type of snake as a pet in California.
“I literally lift the cushion, and there this giant 7-foot Vietnamese blue beauty rat snake is just coiled up right behind the cushion,” Trejo said. “You’d be more lucky to find a Rolex sitting on the ground than a snake like this.”
Although Vietnamese blue beauty rat snakes are not venomous, the specimen that Trejo encountered demonstrated signs of defensiveness when he attempted to handle it. “It didn’t bite me, but it did manage to snag my shirt lining,” he revealed, adding that the snake, which he took with him, was suffering from a respiratory infection.
As per the Northampton Reptile Centre, Vietnamese blue beauty rat snakes are indigenous to tropical climates in Southeast Asia and require a warm basking area when kept as pets. Trejo explained to KGTV that the snake found in the couch was unwell due to being kept in an unsuitable, unregulated environment.