Shock for St Helens man after finding 4ft-long desert kingsnake behind fire
A landlord developing a property in St Helens was in for a shock when he took an electric fire out - only to find a 4ft-long desert kingsnake behind it!
The desert kingsnake, which is native to Arizona, New Mexico and Texas and Mexico and consumes small mammals, birds and reptiles such as rattlesnakes, was found at a house in Peckers Hill Road, in St Helens
The owner of the house was developing the property after the previous tenants moved out.
He went to remove the electric fire to replace it - and was gobsmacked to find a 4ft-long snake curled up behind it.
Unsure what to do he called the RSPCA for advice and animal rescuer inspector Anthony Joynes was sent to the scene.
Anthony said: “I was quite surprised at the size of the snake, which is a non-venomous species, and the fact that it is in such good condition makes me suspect that it is a pet that has escaped.
“It is a more unusual species of snake for us to see and their diet consists of rodents, small birds, frogs, lizards and smaller snakes including rattlesnakes.
"I am not sure how it managed to get behind the fire but snakes are adept at squeezing through gaps and getting into wall cavities.”
This was the second snake to be collected by the RSPCA in the area in recent days.
The RSPCA were called to collect a snake from a house on Pimblett Road, St Helens, after a shocked member of the public spotted a rat snake on top of a fridge in the kitchen
This time inspector Helen Smith was sent to the scene to collect the snake, which feeds mainly on rodents. The snake was found to be in good condition, but was very cold so needed warming up.
The rat snake’s worried owner later came forward and said the snake had escaped when she was cleaning out her vivarium.