BOONE – It started out as a normal Monday morning cleanup for a Central Iowa family, but then they found a snake among their toys, which they thought was a rattlesnake.
“I just reacted,” said Cinthya Crane. “That mama instinct kicked in and I grabbed a bucket.”
“And when I got the call this morning, it was, she was on the phone in a panic, and wanted me home immediately,” said Stephen Crane, her husband.
The Cranes recently moved with her family to Boone from Missouri. When she saw that snake in her closet, she stopped cleaning and started shielding.
“I saw the one and then I started to wonder, ‘Okay, are there ten more around that area’?” explained Cinthya.
Cinthya’s husband, Stephen, says since they’re still unfamiliar with the area, and often saw snakes around their old home, they weren’t sure what they were dealing with.
“I was calling the DNR, I was talking to people at my work, and even reached out on Facebook and just trying to find some answers,” said Stephen.
We helped the Cranes get in touch with the Iowa Wildlife Center. Here’s what they found.
“I suspect it’s been in the home for a while,” said Marlene Ehresman, the executive director of the Iowa Wildlife Center. “They can follow the sewer lines and things like that and get in smaller openings, because they’re following the trail of mice.”
The Cranes say they have had a mice problem, finding more than a dozen since they moved in.
“It took a little research after the fact to realize that rattlesnakes aren’t as common up here,” said Stephen.
And now, they know how to isolate the animal and better react if another one turns up.
“Thank God that we are okay, that my child’s okay,” said Cinthya. “God was watching over him, so I’m very thankful.”
In case this ever happens to you, Ehresman recommends isolating the snake, or other wild animal, into one spot in the house. You also should try to get the kids out of the way, and then, if it’s possible, take a picture of it. Then, you can call the DNR or other wildlife expert, so they can help with the next steps in the process.