It's safe to assume that most people are not particularly fond of snakes. Outside of seeing them in an exhibit at the zoo, most people try to keep a safe distance between themselves and serpents. And one of the last places one would expect to encounter the slithery reptiles is at a courthouse.
A Jackson, Mississippi courthouse is dealing with an infestation of snakes. Since April 8, five DeKay's snakes, which are non-venomous and pose no threat to humans, have been found in the basement of the Hinds County clerk's basement office.
Two of the little brown reptiles were killed accidentally when they were run over by the office's filing system, which moves on tracks. Another was caught on sticky paper left by staff. The courthouse even brought in snake expert and former zookeeper Percy King to make sure that the serpents were not harmful.
King explained that the snakes are often found indoors in spring after they awake from hibernation. Workers have said that the snakes they've seen have not been very large. One woman said one she saw just looked like an overgrown earthworm. King said, "a snake that size could squeeze through any little hole."
The courthouse was originally built in 1930, and the basement has windows, but officials say the windows are tightly sealed.
In any case, no pun intended, courthouse workers intend to keep their eyes peeled for more sightings of the pests.