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Facebook user Lesley Kuhn found that her salad came with a side of snake
We’ve all heard of Snakes and Ladders. Some of us may have even watched Snakes on a Plane. But snakes in a lettuce is something no one should have to encounter.
Yet, that’s exactly what happened to a family in Sydney when they found a venomous serpent in their bag of fresh produce following a trip to the supermarket
“Last night my son found a baby pale-headed snake in with his baby cos lettuce from Aldi,” mum Lesley Kuhn wrote in a Facebook post alongside two pictures of the stowaway.
They showed the small black and grey creature slithering among the leaves.
According to the Australian Museum, the pale-headed snake is a “shy but nervous species and easily agitated if cornered.”
It warns that if any “intruders” come within reach of the snake it will “strike without hesitation, delivering multiple bites in quick succession”.
Although there have been no recorded deaths from the species, its venom can produce some unpleasant symptoms, including severe headache, blurred vision, localised pain, and abnormal bleeding, it adds.
Fortunately Kuhn and her family were left unscathed by their unexpected visitor.
She confirmed that the lettuce-hitchhiker was safely collected by the Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service (WIRES), and released back into the wild in Queensland.
Her main takeaway from the incident? “Check packaged lettuces carefully”.
A spokesperson for Aldi said they were not sure how the snake found its way into the bag.
"We’ve worked with the customer and the team at WIRES to identify the snake’s natural habitat, which is certainly not an ALDI store," they said.
John Grant from WIRES described the discovery as highly unusual.
“We’ve never seen anything like this,” he told ABC News. “We assume – and it’s only an assumption – that because it was a juvenile it was picked with the lettuce and it’s survived the whole process.”
Ricky the snake had wrapped himself round the crown of a pineapple
However, this is not the first time an Aldi customer has found a snake among their groceries.
In 2017, a serpent was found to have flown all the way from Costa Rica to Scotland via an Aldi pineapple.
Scottish SPCA rescue officer Catherine Atterton was dispatched to collect the animal.
She said at the time: “It’s not every day that we get called out to attend to snakes found in peculiar places.
“I know not long ago there was a wee lizard found on a head of broccoli so I was quite excited to see what had stowed away on this pineapple.
“We named him Ricky, as he’s come all the way from Costa Rica. As yet he’s not been identified but he’s in a good condition and is now being cared for by experts at Butterfly World in Edinburgh.
“We’re glad we were called out, as without proper care Ricky wouldn’t survive our climate. Now he’ll be able to recuperate from his adventures.”
An Aldi spokeswoman responded with the comment: “This is the first time we, or our supplier, who supplies all major supermarkets, have received a complaint of this nature.”
Little did she know, it wouldn’t be the last.