Throwback: San Antonio family finds venomous snake in Christmas cactus

This article originally published in 2018. We thought it was worth a re-run.

After a close call with a venomous copperhead snake, a San Antonio-area family has a warning for others: Check your plants for wildlife before bringing them in.

Ronnie and Charlene Ibrom, who live just east of San Antonio in Adkins, have seen plenty of snakes in their 2.5-acre yard before, Charlene Ibrom said, but this was the first time that a venomous snake had made its way onto their screened-in porch.

Ronnie Ibrom was watering the plants, preparing to bring them inside early Saturday morning. While reaching toward a little rack of plants toward the back, he suddenly saw the snake and pulled back, Charlene Ibrom said. He immediately recognized it as a copperhead, distinguishable by its chestnut crossbands over a lighter-colored body.

“It kind of stuck out, for it to be not looking for camouflage, sitting on a green plant,” Ibrom said. “Usually they’re out with the dead leaves, they blend in. This was pretty noticeable.”

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Ronnie Ibrom snapped the photo and then removed the snake, using tongs he and his wife had previously kept for scorpions and other unwelcome creatures. As he walked away with the snake to deposit him far away, the snake wrapped itself around the man’s arms, Charlene Ibrom said.

“Luckily, (Ronnie) had a hold of him so he couldn’t bite him,” she said.

She speculated the snake, which was thin and no longer than a foot, had most likely sneaked in through a crack under the screen door while looking for warmth.

“It was cool overnight, so he just snuggled into that plant,” Ibrom said. “Especially with the cold snap coming this weekend, double check your plants before you bring them in.”

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