Police in Paragould, Ark. got quite the surprise on Sunday evening when they received a call from the local Walmart. When they arrived, they found a pile of 40 or so snakes lying in the parking lot.
Initially, customers thought the snakes were venomous copperheads and water moccasins. Luckily, after further investigation, they were found to be simple non-venomous garden or water snakes.
After arriving just after 9 p.m. on Sunday, the police quickly rounded up all the snakes and put them in a plastic tote. After securing them, authorities called in the game warden to take a look at the situation. It appears as though the snakes were simply part of a practical joke.
Naturally, authorities don’t take this kind of thing lightly. According to Paragould Daily, citations could come into play. Those responsible for the prank could pay a penalty of anywhere from $500 to $5000. That’s a hefty price to pay just to get a bit of a laugh in.
While the game warden wasn’t able to name those who received a citation, he did say the citations fell “under the Game and Fish Code for ‘Release of Wildlife prohibited.” According to the warden, all snakes were safely released back into the area where the perpetrators first gathered them.
Water snakes are pretty common in the area, but seeing them in a busy area like a Walmart parking lot is less than ideal. Naturally, the authorities reminded the public that this kind of unnecessary stunt can cause panic and injuries. Hopefully, whoever pulled this prank off will learn their lesson after paying their hefty penalty.