Four-Foot Snake Rings Kansas Man's Doorbell: 'Not What I Expected'

Kyle Crane had a surprise visitor at his Kansas home on Monday night⁠—a four-foot rat snake, which managed to set off his doorbell.

Crane has a Ring doorbell fitted with a camera and sensor, which allows homeowners to be alerted when there is motion outside and enables them to see who is at the door before answering it.

On first inspection, Crane thought it was a lizard wandering across the bell. It was only when he opened the door he realized he had a very long constrictor slithering over his device and doorframe.

"It's not what I expected," Crane is heard saying on the video he took on his cell phone. "It's a rat snake just hanging out on my Ring doorbell. I thought it was a lizard. I saw some motion, and I was wondering how he got out here. Then I come out here, and I see we have a snake," he says, before setting out to remove the critter from his Overland Park home.

Crane grabbed the snake with some barbecue tongs and carefully put it in a big plastic bag.

"That's one snake in a bag. He's flaring his tail like he's trying to imitate a rattler, typical rat snake move," said Crane in his video.

"I was going to grab him by the tail and put him in a bag, but then his tail was right there by his head, and I didn't want him to bite me and get defensive," Crane later said local news station KSHB.

The Kansas resident didn't get hiss-terical during the encounter, as this wasn't the first time he'd met a snake. Crane is a keen hiker and camper and sometimes sees reptiles in the outdoors.

Crane took the reptile to a nearby creek and set it free. "Go, you're free, go live your life," says Crane on screen as the snake slithers off.

An Oklahoma black rat snake
An Oklahoma black rat snake LaVonna Moore/iStock

Rat snakes can grow to around 10 feet. They are non-venomous constrictors that kill their prey, usually rodents and birds, by tightening around them to the point of cardiovascular collapse. Black rat snakes can be aggressive and bite, but they are not deadly to humans and are often kept as pets.

This isn't the first time a Ring doorbell has captured a snake encounter at a front door. In May 2019, a man was bitten in the face by a large five-foot bullsnake as he was visiting a friend's house in Oklahoma. The reptile had been wrapped around a light on the porch. Luckily, bullsnakes are non-venomous, but the man was treated in hospital for his injury.