October 24 2014 Latest news:
Thursday, September 4, 2014
A Saffron Walden family were given a fright by an unwanted visitor after they discovered a snake in their kitchen.
Uttlesford District Council’s pest control officer John Renouf was called to the property in Plantation Close on Monday night and safely rescued the 3ft serpent.
It is unclear where the corn snake came from.
The council’s animal warden, Sue Knight, said: “Understandably the family was upset to find the snake in their home and they did not want to go into the house while it was in there.
“It is very unusual to find a corn snake in a residential property, but it is harmless. This one is in good condition – it is friendly and likes being handled, so it is probably a pet.
“We have taken it to Cambridge Reptiles [in Hardwick, Cambridgeshire] who have agreed to look after it for the time being, but we’re keen to find the rightful owner.”
Uttlesford District Council said it had received an unusually high volume of calls from the public relating to snake sightings this year. It is believed the warm, moist summer – all the conditions that snakes like – could be to blame.
In the majority of cases, people have called about seeing a grass snake in their garden. Although grass snakes may hiss and strike out if disturbed, they are not poisonous and are harmless to people.
Grass snakes are either green or brown with a yellow collar behind their head.
The UK’s only poisonous snake is the adder which more likely to be seen on rough, open countryside and woodlands. They are either silvery grey or brown with a black zig-zag pattern down the back.
Ms Knight said: “If residents do see a snake in their garden, then our advice would be to leave it alone. Snakes that are native to the UK are far more frightened of us than we are of them.
“However, if snakes are discovered in properties or are generally being a nuisance, then people should get in touch.”
Snakes regularly get trapped in netting over garden ponds and can drown if not released. If you see a trapped or injured snake, or if you think the snake is not a native species, call the RSPCA, or the council’s animal warden on 01799 510510.
• Anyone with information about the rescued corn snake can contact should email firstname.lastname@example.org.