Good news everyone: Toki the snake has been reunited with his family after he was accidentally donated to Goodwill. Whoops!
Toki the snake had been missing for six whole months before he eventually turned up at the local Goodwill in Fort Worth, Texas. His owner, Austin Pair, left him in his covered tank with plenty of food when they vacationed in Hawaii. When Pair came back, Toki was gone.
“I had to kind of makeshift a lid for it,” Pair told the Star-Telegram. “He’d gotten out before, so I’d taped it, reinforced it, put weights on it — but he pushed the light fixture over and disappeared.”
Pair said he and his roommates tore apart their house in search of the beloved red-tailed boa constrictor, and were “devastated” when they couldn’t find him. Pair believed Toki managed to break out of the house and get into the wild.
Although he later bought four ball pythons, Pair said they couldn’t replace Toki.
“I was sad to lose my first baby,” he said.
Six months later, the roommates packed up their house to move, and donated the couch and some clothing to Goodwill.
The three foot long boa was found nestled in a pile of clothing on Thursday, where Goodwill manager James Murphy kept him safe.”
“We get creepy crawlies from time to time … spiders, rats, and mice,” Murphy told the local NBC station. “But nothing this exotic. Definitely not something that I am used to.”
Pair said a friend called him during the flurry of media coverage around Toki, and asked if he’d lost a snake recently. They were reunited on Saturday.
“I was floored, I couldn’t believe it,” Pair told the Telegram-Star. “Super ecstatic.”
It’s unclear exactly how Toki was able to survive inside the couch for so long, however, constrictors can go weeks between feedings. Some snakes can lower their metabolic rates significantly, and can even survive months without food.
Upon arriving in the chilly Goodwill storage room, he most likely slithered into a pile of clothing for warmth, where he was found by a horrified donations processor. He’s now safe and sound with Pair, who assured onlookers that Toki would reside in a more secure tank. The affectionate snake even accepted kisses from his human father.
“I wish I could speak Parseltongue,” Pair said in an interview with the Telegram-Star. “I bet he could tell us a lot.”
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