SAN ANTONIO -

Bruce Ahlswede isn't a snake lover, so you can imagine his shock when he spotted one slithering around inside the men's bathroom at the Starbucks located at Bandera Road and Loop 1604.

Ahlswede had just wrapped up a business presentation when he went to relieve himself and got a 'Grande' surprise.

"I looked down and looked at the toilet and I see this snake laying across the toilet," Ahlswede said.

At first he thought it was a fake snake that a prankster left behind but when it moved he knew it was the real deal and alerted employees.

"I said hey, you know you've got a snake in your bathroom and she's kind of freaking out," Ahlswede said. "So we went back in and watched it as it slithered back and around and down underneath the rim of the bowl and right inside."
Ahlswede's wife Michelle managed to snap a picture of the snake before it disappeared. She posted it to Facebook and got all kinds of responses.

"A lot of people were really freaked out and some said thanks a lot, they were over their phobia of this ever happening," Michelle Ahlswede said.

Experts tell KSAT 12 News based on the picture it's most likely a Texas rat snake. They aren't poisonous and sometimes find their way into toilets and other plumbing.

Starbucks issued this statement about the incident:
"The safety of our customers is our top priority. We want all of our customers to have an enjoyable experience when they visit our stores, and we were concerned to learn of this incident. Our partners immediately contacted Animal Care Services. Animal Care Services does not respond directly to calls involving snakes. Rather, they refer snake calls to the South Texas Herpetology Association, which is who checked the store. They performed a comprehensive inspection of our store. South Texas Herpetology Association confirmed the store is safe for customers and partners and that there were no further safety concerns."

Bruce and Michelle returned to the store Tuesday afternoon to follow up on the situation. They said employees told them, the snake was not found. Despite the creepy encounter they say they'll remain Starbucks customers but they plan to change their bathroom habits.

"Yeah, I'm going to take a closer look and definitely lift the seat and be a little more careful," Ahlswede said. "Because you never know."

For a list of recent stories Tim Gerber has done, click here.