Posters that sparked fears a deadly snake was on the loose at one of London's main railway stations have turned out to be a hoax.
The RSPCA was forced to investigate after public concern over what proved to be a fictitious black mamba reported missing near King's Cross Station in posters with a banner headline of "lost snake".
The pictures pinned to trees and lampposts claimed the "highly venomous" killer, which it named Rosie, had made a break for freedom 10 days ago.
Members of the public were urged to check under car seats, bed sheets, behind toilets and in washing machines for a snake whose poison can kill a human within 20 minutes of being bitten.
A new poster later pinned to trees in the area confirmed the claims of a lost snake had been fake.
"Dear residents, There is not a snake called 'Rosie' on the loose. The poster was a HOAX. Sorry for any distress caused," it read.