Return to sender? ATV comes with bonus: A rattlesnake

2012-09-09T06:30:00Z Return to sender? ATV comes with bonus: A rattlesnakeBy PHIL SARATA, T&D Staff Writer The Times and Democrat
September 09, 2012 6:30 am  • 

A motorcycle shop’s sounds are familiar to many bike enthusiasts, such as engines roaring, tires squealing and shotguns firing.

Shotguns firing?

Although it took him by surprise, George Wells, the owner of Honda Kawasaki of Orangeburg, said gunfire became necessary Tuesday once a reptilian intruder made an unexpected entrance.

“A rattlesnake came in a crated four-wheeler shipped from Honda in Jacksonville,” Wells said. “We shut down the whole store for about 10 minutes around lunch.

“We killed it with a shotgun, cutting it in half. I told my son to wait for it to get into the grass before he shot it. I didn’t want to be picking flying asphalt out of my body.”

Wells said the 5-foot-long snake was skinned and kept as a shop trophy, including its nine rattles. Some of the meat even survived; it’s being kept in a sealed plastic bag.

“It was comical listening to eight or nine grown men squeal like girls every time the snake would strike at the shovel they used to chase it off,” Wells said. “We even went back and watched the security cameras to see that it didn’t come from the woods.

“The only thing we could figure out is it just got in the crate at the warehouse. It had to make the ride from Jacksonville.

“I’m surprised it didn’t bail out when they put the crate on the forklift. It was in the back of the truck and it could have gotten the driver.”

Occasionally shop workers spot a Japanese spider in shipping crates when inventory is delivered.

In the business of selling motorcycles for 10 years, Wells has never seen anything like this. While the excitement didn’t last long, he said the experience has changed store procedure.

“Nothing else came from this, other than the fact we will look at every crate differently now,” Wells said.

Contact the writer: or 803-533-5540.

Copyright 2014 The Times and Democrat. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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