Biologist documents 'huge job' freeing grass snake which became entangled in 'dangerous' garden mesh

  • Watch Dr Jones attempt to unravel the mesh from the snake

A biologist has documented the "huge job" he had freeing a large grass snake that had become stuck in "dangerous" garden meshing.

Dr Rhys Jones, an evolutionary biologist received a call from Cardiff Council park rangers saying that they had come across a grass snake in distress.

Dr Jones, who described the situation as an "absolutely hideous ordeal" and "one of the worst cases I have had to deal with", is now urging the public not to use meshing in their gardens.

The associate professor at Cardiff University documented the "huge job" of freeing the snake on Twitter, which took him about two hours in total.

The mesh was wrapped tightly around the neck of the snake which he said would have been in "real pain". After sharing the video clips on social media, Dr Jones was praised for his efforts.

One Twitter user wrote, "Incredible work Rhys! Horrible that such a thing has to be done in the first place!"

Another said, "Hate seeing any animal in distress, well done Doc."

The grass snake was entangled in garden mesh Credit: Dr Rhys Jones

Garden mesh is primarily used to protect vegetable plants or ponds from pests or to prevent weather damage.

He said the material has become a "pollutant" for wildlife.

He told ITV News, "The problem we've got now is that this type of garden mesh has become a pollutant. It's really dangerous, especially when it comes in contact or in conflict with our natural wildlife here in Wales and beyond.

"So what we really need to do now is take a responsible look at this and ask do we really need to be using this? And the answer is no - we don't need to be using it."

  • Dr Rhys Jones is urging the public not to use meshing in their gardens

"There are plenty of alternatives rather than using this type of green plastic meshing. It doesn't biodegrade, animals get caught up in it, hedgehogs, grass snakes, amphibians and all sort of animals get caught up in it. It really is time that we just don't use it any more."

He added that it is not unusual to find snakes entangled in garden mesh and that he himself comes across three or four cases every year.

The biologist described it as an 'absolutely hideous ordeal' Credit: Dr Rhys Jones

He said, "I personally come across grass snakes in particular wound up in this mesh. They like to bask to warm up in the sun and they'll wriggle through the mesh and they get stuck in it.

"This mesh literally forms a noose around the neck of the snake. So I normally find around three or four of these cases a year that I personally have to deal with."

  • The snake being released back into the wild

Dr Jones said that the grass snake found in Cardiff was now in a good condition and was ready to be released.

"I'm absolutely thrilled that the snake has recovered and is in such a good condition after what an absolutely hideous ordeal", he said.

The biologist has advised the public to contact their local council if they ever come across an animal in distress.