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UPDATED Snakes in a store: New Minas Superstore shoppers surprised by snake found in cart

Carol Benedict, a Windsor resident, snapped this picture of a snake found in a cart at the New Minas Superstore June 30. She says store employees were quick to take action once it was discovered.
Carol Benedict, a Windsor resident, snapped this picture of a snake found in a cart at the New Minas Superstore June 30. She says store employees were quick to take action once it was discovered. - Contributed

NEW MINAS, N.S. - Snakes on a plane? Not quite, but almost.

New Minas shoppers were stunned recently to spot a large snake in a shopping cart inside a local grocery store.

“It was kind of shocking to look down and see that thing so close to my leg,” said Windsor resident Carol Benedict.

Benedict and her husband had been shopping in the New Minas Superstore late in the afternoon of June 30 when she noticed the snake on the cart of the gentleman standing behind her in the produce section.

Benedict said that at first, she was completely unaware of the snake until she began walking away with her produce and heard the man behind her scream, “Oh my God, there’s a snake on my cart!”

Carol Benedict, a Windsor resident, snapped this picture of a snake found in a cart at the New Minas Superstore June 30. She says store employees were quick to take action once it was discovered.
Carol Benedict, a Windsor resident, snapped this picture of a snake found in a cart at the New Minas Superstore June 30. She says store employees were quick to take action once it was discovered.

Kentville resident Shawn Pineo is the man whose cart the snake decided to hitch a ride in at the Superstore  – and he’s not a fan of snakes at all. The former Canadian Forces member had to get over his fear of snakes while serving overseas, but still doesn’t like them much.

“I’m a little bit scared of them, not as scared as I used to be, I was in the forces before and they had poisonous ones overseas, so that sort of helped me get over a bit of my fear of the non-poisonous ones,” he said.

He says he was in the store for about 10 minutes before noticing the reptile.

“I’d filled the top part of my cart and reached down to put something in the bottom when I saw it,” said Pineo. “Needless to say, I probably squealed like a little girl.”

Pineo added that he had picked up the cart from inside the store – not from the cart corral outside.

Benedict said that the Superstore employees – who seemed just as surprised as the customers to find a snake in the store – handled the situation remarkably well and were able to quickly move the snake from the cart and into a box and brought it out back.

“The store was great, they dealt with it immediately, but I’m not sure what they did with it after that,” said Benedict.

Store manager Colin Hanson was unable to comment on the specific incident, as he was away on vacation during the time it occurred.

Hanson says that during his 26 years in business, he has never had a snake come into the store, but says there are procedures in place in the event an incident such as this does occur.

“We just capture the snake,” said Hanson. “We have pest control providers that we use if we can’t capture the snake.”

Based on pictures taken by Benedict, the snake appears to be a garter snake. 

According to the Nova Scotia Museum, Maritime garter snakes do bit, but are not venomous. They eat  salamanders, fishes, frogs, worms and mice and an adult female can grow up to 91 cm in length. 

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