Family 'shocked' after seeing a 3ft SNAKE crossing the road in Northampton
The RSPCA were called to a Northampton street where a snake was seen slithering across the road.
The three-foot long corn snake was seen crossing Glebeland Gardens in Dallington at about 3pm on Sunday.
The RSPCA said the family who called them were 'shocked' to discover the snake crossing the road as they left their home nearby.
Animal collection officer Jack Curran said: “The family seemed to get quite a shock which is not surprising as you don’t expect to see a three-foot long snake crossing the road and they had no idea if it was venomous or not.
“Corn snakes are not venomous but they didn’t know that.
"They did the right thing as we would always advise that if anyone finds a snake they believe is non-native to keep a safe distance, monitor the snake and call the charity’s helpline on 0300 1234 999."
When Jack arrived in Glebeland Gardens he found the reptile had moved onto a communal green over the road.
Jack was able to safely capture the snake using specialist equipment and he was taken to a nearby vets for treatment as he had a graze on his side.
He received care overnight and is now in the care of a specialist reptile keeper.
It is not known at this stage whether the snake escaped from a nearby home or was dumped as an unwanted pet - however no-one has come forward to claim him yet.
Jack said: “We are unsure whether the snake is an escaped pet or whether he has been intentionally abandoned.
“Sadly it is not unusual for us to be called to collect an abandoned snake.
"We believe many people are unaware of how much of a commitment these animals are when they take them on, and we suspect the reality of caring for them has become too much in these cases."
Snakes are ectothermic so they rely on their environment to maintain their body temperature.
Snakes that are not native to this country need a heated environment with a specific temperature gradient for the species to regulate their body temperature.
Jack said: "If a reptile becomes too cold they may be unable to feed or move normally and their immune system will not work properly to fight disease, meaning the animal can become very ill so it was lucky the reptile was discovered and we were able to safely capture him.
“It is so sad as people who are struggling to cope could simply call us for help and advice.
“Many of the snakes the RSPCA’s officers are called to collect are thought to be escaped pets. We would always recommend owners invest in an enclosure suitable for the particular species and that the enclosure is kept secure (and locked if necessary) when unattended.”
For more information on what to consider before adopting a snake, visit the RSPCA websiteIf anyone loses a snake there are a number of lost and found pet websites where details can be logged.
Anyone with information about who owns the snake should call the RSPCA appeal line on 0300 123 8018.