A coin-marked snake was discovered slithering through the cracks between the stones at Jerusalem’s Western Wall on Wednesday night. The reptile’s sudden emergence halted prayers and created some panic as it was seen above the women’s prayer section of the holy site.
According to published reports, a skilled snake catcher was brought in to capture the serpent. The Western Wall Heritage Foundation released a video of the highly unusual incident. The man managed to pull the snake from the wall while onlookers expressed their thanks through thunderous applause. He also posed for photos while he held the snake.
An indigenous species to Israel, the coin marked snake is a non-poisonous one, but also appears threatening at the same time.
According to the Ynet news site, the snake was seeking pigeons or their offspring in an attempt to gear up for the winter season with extra fat. Snakes like these can grow to as long as five feet and feed on birds, rodents, lizards and other snakes. They have round markings and are a commonplace sight throughout the Middle East, central Asia and southern Europe.
While the snake’s sudden appearance caused fright and havoc, it is not the first time that worshippers have been stunned by events at the Western Wall. In July of this year a 220 pound boulder dislodged from the wall and fell to the plaza floor, nearly crushing a woman at prayer below.