Yesterday's report of a three-foot long corn snake popping up in a Bronx man's bathroom became instant e-mail forwarding fodder, even showing up in Weekly World News with the relatively tame (as compared to Bat Boy) headline of "FIRST BED BUGS, NOW TOILET SNAKES." But investigators are still puzzled as to just how the snake made it up to the 19th floor of the Soundview apartment building.

Herpetologist Jack Conrad says it's unlikely that the snake slithered its way through 19 floors of plumbing, but it's "within the realm of possibility." He told the Wall Street Journal (paywall), "Corn snakes are not particularly known for being fond of water, but all snakes are good swimmers. Snakes can hold their breath for a long time, but you have to wonder how it entered the plumbing pipes to begin with. It's possible, but seems really tough." Bronx Zoo Director Jim Breheny said it probably entered through a hole in the wall or the heating duct. The WSJ also mentions that the Bronx man was relatively lucky, as a snake once bit a Taiwanese man on his genitals as he sat down on the toilet.

Richard Gentles, a spokesman for Animal Care and Control, said the female snake was likely a pet and had escaped or was "discarded" by her owner. And though she was found healthy and well cared for, neighbors just care that she's out of the building. "I live one floor below this guy," said Jose Aguirre.. "What if it had snuck into my apartment through the pipes? I don't know if I could take it—I have a heart condition."