Not many of us are too fond of snakes, so workers at the Guinness Storehouse were understandably a little shocked to find a scaly reptile at the St. James' Gate location yesterday. So what happened?
By Declan Whooley
Didn’t Saint Patrick banish the snakes from Ireland?
Pious folklore would lead us to believe that the great man himself got rid of snakes after chasing them all into the sea after they attacked him during his 40-day fast at the top of a hill.
Scientific evidence would, however, suggest otherwise. It seems highly unlikely that we ever had snakes as no serpent has successfully migrated across the open ocean. Naturalist and keeper at the National Museum of Ireland Nigel Monaghan says Patrick’s biggest feat is mythical.
“At no time has there ever been any suggestion of snakes in Ireland, so [there was] nothing for St. Patrick to banish,” he says. That told us.
So how did a snake manage to end up at the Guinness Storehouse?
A perfectly logical question. Employees at the Diageo Logistics Centre were busily going about their normal routine when a snake was spotted in an empty keg. The keg was part of a delivery that had arrived from Texas.
The snake had somehow managed to find its way into the container either during shipment or at the American depot. It appears unlikely at this early stage that the snake was looking for a free trip to Ireland
What does one do if he/she comes face to face with a snake?
Screaming is purely a personal preference and does not rectify the situation. The best course of action is to replicate what the Guinness employees chose to do. They contacted the Dublin Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (DSPCA). They are well experienced in caring for lost/unwanted/injured animals and they took the snake to vet Bairbre O’Malley, one of the leading Irish authorities on exotic pets.
It also depends where the encounter takes place. If, for example, it takes place on an aeroplane being infested by the reptiles, take advice from the cast of Snakes on A Plane. Shoot out a window to depressurise the plane causing the snakes to be blown out the cockpit. Then take over the controls from the presumably dead captain and make an emergency landing. Simple really.
Snakes On A Plane. Has there ever been a more ridiculous film?
Possibly not, but bear in mind that for all its faults it did gross $62 million dollars at the box office. We're not sure how, or why, but it did. Here is a quick reminder of the why the David Ellis directed film will always have a notorious place in cinematic history.
How was the snake after the ordeal?
The vet identified the snake as a non-poisonous corn snake who was a ‘little underweight and dehydrated’. We have always been led to believe that the black stuff does give you strength, so that could be a good remedy.
From a psychological standpoint, the vet was unable to comment on what trauma the corn snake had gone through upon realising the kegs were empty.
Does the corn snake have a name?
Like any good mini-celebrity, the snake was quickly given a wonderfully creative and descriptive nickname. ‘JR’, as he has been christened due to his origins, is said to be happy with his progress and looking to make a fully recovery.