CEDAR CREST, N.M. (KRQE) – It is not unusual for snakes to make their way into peoples’ pipes, prompting a response from animal services. But what about furry four-legged creatures? That is exactly what one Cedar Crest family recently discovered in their bathroom.

It was a startling discovery inside an East Mountain home. “Nobody expects something to crawl out of your toilet on a Sunday morning,” homeowner Lindsay Jones said.

Last week, Jones and her husband came across an unknown creature. “A pack rat or maybe a baby raccoon… Definitely not what it was,” Jones said.

It was crawling filthy and crawling out of their toilet. “[It was covered in] sludge, whatever is down in your pipes,” Jones said. “There was a mess in the toilet and a rather large furry thing.”

Jones said it all began when her husband went to take a shower. “So I heard yelling and screaming from the bathroom to come take a look at it and see what’s in there,” Jones said. “I walked down the hallway and walked into the bathroom, and my husband was standing over there and told me to look in the corner, and there was a black tail right behind the laundry basket. All I did was turn around and run as quickly as I could and shut the door behind me.”

That is when they called Bernalillo County Animal Care Services. “When I got there, the gentleman told me that he could have sworn he saw the Loch Ness Monster coming out,” Animal Care Officer Isaac Price said.

Price said he guesses the animal had already taken a bath inside the toilet by the time he arrived because he found it clean inside the laundry basket. That is when he recognized it was actually a squirrel.

Price said he captured it using snake tongs and released it back into the wild. “He looked back and stood up on his hind legs, then he took off,” Price said. “That was probably the animal’s way of saying thank you, I suppose.”

Jones has an idea of where it came from. “We think that due to the wind, probably the roof vent, the cover was popped off, and I think the squirrel crawled up onto the roof and came down one of the toilet vents,” Jones said.

Neither Jones nor Price said they have seen anything like it. “Considering everything that has happened this year, it is just one more thing to add to the craziness,” Jones said. Price said no one, including the squirrel, was injured.

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