"I was tipping this machine, and when I brought the bin back, the snake was hanging over the edge," Tassy Rodgers, who works in donation processing, told NBC Dallas-Fort Worth Friday. "I was a little freaked out and thinking this cannot be fake; it's gotta be real."
The snake was quite real and very much alive: an albino, rosy-tailed python that somehow not only got into the donation bin but made it through a previous round of sorting! AP notes that the Fort Worth sorting center receives donations at 40 local drop-off locations.
"I just don't know what the context is of how this snake got to us," assistant manager James Murphy said. "There are multiple steps this snake had to take to get here."
"I don't know if someone may have [dropped it off] maliciously. Maybe they wanted to get rid of it and weren't quite sure how, or maybe it just wanted to get warm. It was in a pile of clothing."
Goodwill spokeswoman Liz Confiliano told the Star-Telegram that after finding the snake, Rodgers "sort of shook the bin it was in, and it stuck its tongue out at her."
Luckily for the crew on duty, Murphy is a man with experience owning pet snakes and knew just how to capture and care for the python. He is taking care of it until its owner is found.
Goodwill maintains an online "rogues gallery" of other unusual donations it has received. While there are myriad dead animals in various states of preservation and display, the only live one mentioned is a white and black pet rabbit left outside their Haltom City location. The page proudly reports that Goodwill staff found him a new home.