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Ball python found behind fryer at Sonic restaurant in southeast Georgia

Sonic restaurants specialize in burgers, chicken and shakes. Snakes are not on the menu, but workers in the fast-food chain’s southeastern Georgia franchise found a reptile curled behind a fryer.

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Workers made a frantic call to police on May 21 and described a snake that matched the description of a rattlesnake. But it was actually a ball python seeking warmth behind the fryer, according to The Brunswick News.

“When I first got the call, they said it was brown and had diamonds on the back,” Brunswick police Lt. Matthew Wilson told the newspaper. “So I thought, ‘Wow.’ Then I thought, ‘Well, I need to look at it first.’

“When I saw it, I could tell it was just a ball python and not a rattlesnake.”

It was not a big deal to Wilson, who owns a pet ball python. Employees were another matter, as they waited in the parking lot of the restaurant until the 3 1/2-foot snake was removed.

“I ended up catching it with a broom handle,” Wilson told the News. “I just got it where I could secure its head. Then I put him in a paper bag and carried him out.”

Wilson said he was not sure how the snake wound up in the kitchen of the restaurant, but believed it was an abandoned or escaped pet. He told the News that the reptile likely entered the Sonic through an open door. Being a cold-blooded animal, the snake would naturally gravitate toward the hot fryer.

“Sonic leaves a back door open quite a bit,” Wilson told the News. “I’m thinking he was very thirsty and very hungry and was out on the hunt. And he found a warm place behind the fryer. They like the warmth.”

Wilson took the non-venomous snake to a friend who has a large terrarium and enjoys reptiles, The Associated Press reported.

“He’s got a new home,” Wilson told the News.