A petrified family in Birmingham dialled 999 after spotting a 1.5 metre-long snake slithering across the floor of their living room.
West Midlands Police were called to the scene in Hodge Hill on Sunday night and found the black and white snake under the sofa.
The horrified dad feared the snake could be venomous, and so rushed his children to safety in another room before calling emergency services.
The RSPCA were unable to attend until the following morning, which left the police as the next best service to call.
Officers managed to get the reptile into a cage with a grabber stick and a pillow case, and it was taken to a local reptile house.
West Midlands Police believe the snake could have got into the Hodge Hill flat through the pipe system.
In a statement the force added: "One of our call centre staff – our in-house reptile expert having worked in animal research for the University of British Columbia – had offered advice on the likely type of snake and handling tips.
"We’re not sure how the snake got into the flat in Hodge Hill, Birmingham. It’s suspected it may have got in through the pipe system.
"The snake is absolutely fine and will be looking for a new home."
Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To know...