A large black snake was found in the basement of Marsh Hall Tuesday night, according to the University Police Department, URPD.

The snake, first discovered by two first-year students, was identified by a member of the Virginia Wildlife Management & Control as a non-venomous black rat snake.

According to the Virginia Herpetological Society's website, the black rat snake, also known as the eastern rat snake, can be found throughout the state of Virginia and has adapted well to human activity.

Graiden Berger, WC’21, was one of the first-years who discovered the snake.

“We were walking down the hallway, and when we opened the door, to the left of us was a giant, black snake,” Berger said. “It could have been poisonous.”

Ulrick Gaillard, RC’20, a resident assistant for Marsh Hall, also saw the snake.

“When I got to Marsh around 9 p.m., my friend and I heard screaming on the basement level so we went to check it out,” Gaillard said. “I heard someone talking about snakes, and when we looked over at the door, there was this huge black snake under the door.”

The snake was probably 3 or 4 feet long, Gaillard said.

“It felt threatened and it was trying to protect itself,” he said. “It was hissing at us.”

It remains unclear how the snake got into the residence area.

“I’m not sure how it got in,” Gaillard said. “I think it just went through the woods and slipped under a crack in the door.”

Berger called URPD, and the officers dispatched members from REACT, UR’s after-hours facilities team.

“REACT was able to get the snake away from the building,” Nick Meyers, a URPD communications officer, said.

Contact news editor Jocelyn Grzeszczak at jocelyn.grzeszczak@richmond.edu.