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Trinity County man finds snake in his fireplace

Lufkin, Texas (KETK) - On a list of things you would expect to find in your fire-place, a large snake typically isn't one of them.

But for one Trinity County man, that's exactly what he found.

"There's never a dull moment around our place and I think this proves it," said Gary David Antley, who found a snake in his fireplace.

Just after 2:30 in the morning on July 7th, Antley was finishing up some paperwork when he heard a loud "clunk" and he went to investigate.

"And I go from mild mannered just passing through, I pass up the panic stage and I go clean to 'oh God what do I do!?'," said Antley.

To his surprise, a large Texas rat snake dropped down his chimney for a visit.

Antley grabbed some barbeque tongs and his daughter set up the camera.

"I just gritted my teeth and I went for it, went in there and grabbed him by the neck," said Antley. "Well nothing too bad happened and then he got tangled up in the fire curtain."

Thankfully Texas rat snakes, or chicken snakes, are non-venomous and harmless to people.

Antley recognized what kind of snake he was dealing with immediatly.

"I (knew) I wouldn't die from snake venom, I would die from a heart attack," he said.

The video, which as of July 10 has around 25,000, has even caught the attention a some snake expert.

"I'm always interested in people's reactions to snakes," said Gordon Henley, Ellen Trout Zoo Director. "And having a snake in the fireplace in the house is an unusual occurrence."

But how exactly could a snake get in your fireplace?

"A tree near the house with a branch over the house," said Henley. "The snake can just, literally, go right up the bark of that tree and get out on a branch and get into the chimney from the top."

Though the experience brought Antley from a baritone to a soprano he is glad people have seen it.

"They can use it for entertainment but I definitely wouldn't use it for a training video on how to remove a snake because there's got to be a better way," he said.

After it was over he turned the snake loose a few miles down the road, where it can eat mice and hopefully not bother anyone else.


Here is the full interview with Mr. Antley

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