The staff of the Home Depot in Spring Hill, TN recently faced an unpleasant surprise when a customer reported seeing a rattlesnake in the store’s outdoor garden section.
According to an August 14 Chattanooga Times Free Press article, the venomous timber rattlesnake was discovered beneath a store shelf late in the day on Wednesday, August 5, just before the store was set to close.
Fortunately, very few customers were left in the store, which allowed store manager T.J. Thompson to shut down the garden center early and call in local wildlife experts to safely remove the snake.
“We quickly shut off that whole area, and were preparing to close the whole store anyway as usual,” Thompson said. “Then we called animal control and they were able to clamp it down with a tool they use for snake captures. They determined it was a timber rattler.”
The Spring Hill Home Depot’s partially enclosed garden center is close to some recently cleared fields. Thompson said he believes the snake likely slithered into the garden area from these fields.
Animal control workers with Animal Pros Pest Control, who removed the snake from the store, told Thompson that timber rattlesnakes are a native species in Tennessee, although they’re not common in the Spring Hill area.
“But I was told we are in the timber rattlers’ mating season, so it is not unheard of to see their kind in this area,” Thompson explained. “It would make sense for him to be unsettled also because we have fields right near the store that were just cleared, and the animal control workers seemed to think that could be related to it.”
Over the last few years, home improvement stores have become busier than ever, with the roofing industry alone generating an astonishing $46 billion in annual revenue. Because of this fact, it’s undoubtedly fortunate that no one was harmed during the rattlesnake’s brief stay at the Spring Hill Home Depot.
Nor was the rattlesnake harmed during the removal, SpringHillHomePage.com reported. Animal Pros released the rattlesnake back into the wild at a location more hospitable for snakes and other wildlife.
“I’m not sure exactly where they go to release rattlesnakes, but he’ll be much happier there than he was inside a home improvement warehouse,” Thompson said.
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