A family in South Africa found themselves in an unexpected frightening situation on Tuesday, Dec. 14, after they found a venomous boomslang snake hiding inside their Christmas tree, causing a small ruckus as they called a snake-catcher to contain it.

Rob and Marcela Wild were reportedly finishing up decorating their new Christmas tree with their kids, 11-year-old Edward and 6-year-old Sahara, when they saw that their cats were interested in something underneath the tree, which they initially thought was a mouse, the New York Post reported.

“They often bring ‘gifts’ in from the farm we live on, so Marcela went to have a look and moved a bauble and saw a snake’s head staring straight back at her,” Rob Wild said.

A quick Internet search showed that the snake was a boomslang, one of the nation’s most dangerous snakes. They sent a picture of the snake to 49-year-old snake-catcher Gerrie Heyns, but he thought it was a joke at first from the family.

“My mobile rang, and it was Rob who sent the photos and promised me they really did have a boomslang in their Christmas tree, and it was no joke,” Heyns said. “I drove over to theirs, telling them not to take their eyes off it in case it slithered away from the Christmas tree and found itself a hiding place in their home.”

Although it took a while to catch the snake, Heyns was able to capture the reptile once it left the tree in an attempt to escape and make a run for it. Heyns grabbed the boomslang's body using tongs and grasped the head of the snake in his hands.

“I would stress they are extremely peaceful snakes and nonaggressive and happy to be left alone, so if you see one in a tree, then just leave it there,” Heyns said, advising people to leave the snakes they find alone.

This is not the most recent snake-related incident to happen in the world in the past few weeks. Over in Maryland, a homeowner burned down their house on Dec. 2 in an attempt to smoke out a snake infestation in their home, causing over $1 million worth of damage, according to the New York Post.

“It is believed that the heat source was too close to the combustible that caused the fire in the walls and ceiling area, unbeknownst to the homeowner at the time,” Pete Pringer from Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service said.

A venomous boomslang snake was found in the Christmas tree of the home of South African family Rob and Marcela Wild, causing a small panic as they called a snake-catcher to safely take the reptile out. This is a representational image. Aaron Fernando/Unsplash.

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