Shortly after Elvis Presley bought Graceland in 1957 he began filling it up with animals. The Jailhouse Rock singer created a pleasant living space with a collection of barnyard animals surrounding him. Not only did he welcome cows, chickens, pigs and horses onto his land, he also had a few dogs on site at all times. One of his favourite dogs, named Get Low, even outlived the singer by a year. But there were some creatures who were not welcome in Graceland: Snakes.
According to the Tennessee government website, the US state has a collection of snakes native to its land.
Many of them are harmless, like the Wormsnake and Red Cornsnake – however there are some real threats on the land.
Cottonmouth snakes are native to Tennessee and would cause some harm to people, but more serious harm to smaller animals such as dogs and cats.
According to a Graceland maid, snakes were one of the biggest pests for Elvis.
READ MORE: Elvis Presley fan on meeting The King inside Graceland before he died
The maid recalled one instance involving a snake prompted Elvis to chase it to the trunk of a tree where it hid.
He brought his rifle and began “blazing away” at the creature in an attempt to either stave it off his land, or kill it.
It is no surprise that Elvis was keen to keep his animals safe. He not only kept animals for pleasure on his farm, but also for produce.
The King famously filled his coop with chickens so he would have a daily influx of fresh eggs.
In 1967, shortly after Elvis married Priscilla Presley, the King bought his wife a horse of her own named Domino.
The pair would go out on horseback riding dates at Circle G Ranch.
However these dates didn’t always go to plan. One terrifying incident occurred when the duo were on one of their long rides.
An eyewitness revealed something spooked Elvis’ horse, Rising Sun, prompting him to run away wildly with the star still in the saddle.
Elvis eventually calmed the horse and brought him to a stop and dismounted.
The star then “literally punched him in the face”.
Although an irrational reaction, the horse was fine and remained in Elvis’ care for the rest of his life.
Rising Sun died in 1986 aged 21-years-old, nine years after Elvis’ death on August 16, 1977.
READ THE ORIGINAL REPORT