Did a Terrified Nampa Couple Really Find a Scary Snake in Their Toilet?
Yes, Idaho is home to two species of venomous rattlesnakes. There’s a post making its way through the NAMPA BUY SELL & TRADE Facebook group claiming that a local couple encountered one NOT native to the area in their toilet.
The post by “Mary T. Packer” reads:
“My husband and I encountered a large western diamondback in our toilet in #Nampa . We are lucky to be alive. Please be watchful of your surroundings, toilets, openings in pipes, doorways potted plants etc. Stay safe everyone. SPREAD THE WORD AND SAVE A LIFE!!”
The message was followed by a picture that looked EXACTLY like this:
At the moment that we sat down to write this post, the image and message scared more than 115 people into sharing the post. We’ll admit that outside of getting to meet the snakes that Tyler Messina has in captivity for education purposes at the Idaho Reptile Zoo, we don’t do well with snakes. They freak us out when we see them in the Foothills. We can’t imagine how we’d react if this nightmare was happening in our bathroom.
But…did it actually happen in a bathroom in Nampa? There were a few things that just seemed very off to us about Mary’s post.
Red Flag #1: This Snake Doesn’t Belong in Idaho
We’ve written about the snakes you’ll likely meet in the Boise foothills. The Western Diamondback is NOT one of those snakes. According to the Washington Nature Mapping Program, the Western Diamondback isn’t found in their state or anywhere in the Pacific Northwest. They’re mainly found in central and western Texas, southern New Mexico and Arizona and parts of southern California.
The venomous Western Rattlesnake IS native to Idaho and has been observed regularly in our area.
But Mary didn’t have the two snakes mixed up. If you look at the pattern of the snake in her toilet, the pattern doesn’t match the pattern of either of the snakes. We're not snake experts, but even we know it’s NOT a Western Diamondback.
Red Flag #2: Mary Doesn’t Have Any Friends
That sounds mean. We’re not trying to be bullies. We just have a sneaking suspicion Mary’s not a real person. Mary set up her new “advertising/marketing” page minutes before making the post in the Nampa group. She has three followers. Follows no one. And turned off the ability to comment on her profile picture AND on the snake post. We’re fairly sure that Mary is not a real person.
Red Flag #3: That Snake Gets Around
The same snake in the same toilet ended up at a “John Butler’s” house. He posted about it in the “REMEMBERING BOISE WHEN??????” Facebook group. That rascal was caught in an identical toilet in the exact same position in “Meredith Corner’s” house somewhere in Elmore County. She shared the photo in the Elmore County Id. Classifieds group. What REALLY confused us is that the same snake and same toilet ended up where our parents live in Mahoning County, Ohio. Seems legit…right?
The Snake Is a Fraud
Penny Garrett, a member of a snake identification group on Facebook, exposed this scam on her page a few months ago. The scammers post stories like the scary snake in the toilet to get people to comment on and share the post.
They’ll later change the post to be something about renting to own some cheap piece of real estate with a malicious link. It’s possible that the link may contain a malware virus that could damage your computer or track your keystrokes so that you can steal your usernames and passwords. And because you took the snake bait and shared it on your wall, you put your friends at risk too. If you search our local buy, sell trade groups there's a TON of spammy real estate posts in them right now.
We’re not saying that finding a snake in your toilet is a total impossibility, but it’s highly unlikely.
And by the way, Penny identified the snake in the photo as a non-venomous rainbow boa.