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SEATTLE - The owner of a 4-foot-long carpet snake might be in trouble after a family found it inside their toilet Friday.
Buted Dashdemberel said her toddler discovered the snake inside their apartment on 143rd Street in Seattle's Lake City area. Dashdemberel had never before seen a snake in person.
"I scream, called my husband and I said, ‘There's a real snake in there.’ He didn't believe me," she said. "I'm still thinking, ‘Is this real? Is it a dream or something?’"
The family had trouble getting in touch with rescue workers that could take the reptile because of the holiday weekend. They called apartment managers, who sent two employees to fish the snake out of the toilet after consulting with reptile experts. Carpet snakes are not known to be venomous.
Dashdemberel showed KIRO7.com video of the rescue, which shows two employees struggling to pull the snake out of the toilet due to the snake's size.
"It's stuck down in the pipes," one of the employees says in the video. "I'm pulling it out the toilet and this thing is huge."
Another employee responds, "I can feel how much force you're using to try to get it out of the toilet."
In the video, the employees successfully get the snake out and place it in a large tub.
Seattle police said the Pacific Northwest Herpetological Society would take the female carpet snake.
Officials with the nonprofit rescue told KIRO7.com that they believe the snake might have been intentionally flushed down the toilet. The owner of the snake, who also lives at the apartment complex, has been located and might face consequences. The complex does not allow snakes as pets. Apartment employees said they believe the snake escaped. The incident remains under investigation.
Carpet snakes are fairly rare in Washington, according to the Herpetological Society -- almost as rare as finding a snake in your toilet during the holiday weekend.
"I still cannot go back in the bathroom, and I'm really scared," Dashdemberel said. "But we saved his life! That's why I feel OK."