A bloke told of the horrifying moment that he opened his wheelie bin and came face to face with a three-foot snake.
Aclas Ighodaro, from Stoke, Staffordshire, admits that he “jumped and screamed” when he saw the bright orange reptile as he went to put out the rubbish
He initially called the police who told him to contact the RSPCA. The charity’s inspector, Dawn Burrell, went to the scene to collect what turned out to be a harmless corn snake.
Aclas was concerned about what might happen to the snake as his bin was due to be emptied the following morning.
READ MORE: Bloke's 'lucky' escape as lurking snake bites bum while sitting on the loo
He told Stoke Live : “I’ve only ever seen them on television, never in real life, so when I lifted the lid and saw his body crawling through a hole in the bag, I jumped and screamed and ran! I honestly don’t know how it got in there and my family didn’t believe me either until I sent them pictures.
“I didn’t know what I was going to do as it was my rubbish collection the next day, but I didn’t want to open up the bin again, so I’m really grateful that Dawn came to help me out.”
The RSPCA inspector took the snake to a local vet for a check-up, after noticing a lump in the reptile’s stomach. An x-ray revealed the lump was the snake's most recent a meal, very probably a rat.
Dawn said: “Even though this corn snake was harmless, it must nevertheless have been a huge shock for Mr Ighodaro and I can sympathise with how he must have felt when he opened the bin to find this very unexpected visitor nestling inside.
"It’s a bit of a mystery as to how the snake got into the wheelie bin as he said he put a rubbish bag in it earlier in the day and the reptile definitely wasn’t there then.
“Corn snakes can be extremely good escape artists and will take the opportunity of fleeing through a gap or a loose-fitting lid, so it’s possible this snake is an escaped pet.
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"This one was in good health and we would appeal to anyone who might be missing their corn snake to get in touch with us."
The RSPCA is also not ruling out the possibility the reptile could have been deliberately abandoned. 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.
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