08/12/2013 07:15 EDT | Updated 10/12/2013 05:12 EDT

Kamloops family gets snake scare

A Kamloops family got a little creeped out by an unexpected visitor that dropped in over the weekend.

Wendy Noonan's nephew found what the family believed was a small rattlesnake slithering in their basement kitchen sink.

Noonan says she thinks the snake came into the house through an open basement window.

Her husband used barbecue tongs to move it into a glass container.

"When we put him in the jar, he was really quite attacking the plastic, and my husband said, 'You know he doesn't look like a good snake,' she said laughing.

A Kamloops naturalist who viewed a photo of the critter says it was actually a Great Basin Gopher Snake, which is non-venomous.

But Frank Ritcey said the gopher snake often mimics rattlesnakes' movements when threatened.

“Gopher snakes (like most animals) can be aggressive and will strike out when captured,’ he said in an email response to CBC News.

“The gopher snake will even rapidly vibrate its tail to mimic a rattle, and when done so in dry leaves and grass it sounds quite convincing,” he added.

The Kamloops area is home to six species of snake, including the rattlesnake and gopher snake.

Only the rattlesnake is venomous, but they seldom bite humans, and that's usually only when people try to handle them or get too close, Ritcey said.