Woman shocked by snake on the loose in her garden in Wirral

A corn snake on the loose shocked a woman in her Birkenhead garden.
Woman in Birkenhead was shocked to spot a corn snake in her garden Credit: RSPCA

A woman from Birkenhead who was pottering in her garden was shocked to spot a snake slithering across her drainpipe.

She called the police who contacted the RSPCA after discovering the corn snake on the loose on Saturday 2 July.

RSPCA Inspector Anthony Joynes offered the roaming reptile a bed for the night.

The vivid orange-coloured snake is now in the care of Cheshire Reptile Rescue, near Knutsford, from where he will be rehomed.

It is not clear if the snake was discarded or if he escaped his enclosure.

Corn snakes are among the North American species of rat snakes that kill their prey by constriction.

But they are not venomous or dangerous to humans, although the RSPCA advises anyone finding a snake they believe is non-native, like this corn one, to keep a safe distance and call the charity’s helpline on 0300 1234 999 or a local reptile charity.

Corn snake was removed by the RSPCA Credit: RSPCA

The animal charity say it fears rising living costs is causing owners to abandon their pets.

RSPCA Inspector Anthony Joynes said: "I took him to the specialist reptile rescue and I’ve noticed we are getting more and more of these cases, so you do wonder about the increase in energy bills and whether people are switching off their vivariums.

"I was speaking to the specialist keeper about it when I took the snake over to him and he stressed they’re not that expensive to run, so it’s best if owners don’t make rash decisions."

He added: "The lady who found it didn’t know whether it was venomous so she rang the police, who contacted me. When I went to pick him up he was actually quite aggressive.

"He was quite a size and that must have been a shock for the woman who was pottering around in her garden when she noticed something under the drainpipe.

"The exotics expert spotted a rib fracture and it does look like this snake has been run over by a car or motorbike.

"But there were no signs of neglect and he could have escaped his enclosure, so the owner is welcome to get in touch with us.

"Fortunately, I’ve got a vivarium set up at my home, so he stayed with me for the night, although I was advised not to feed him.

"He was quite a nice snake really and I think the aggression he displayed was just a bit of fear."