A PET python which went missing for nine weeks has been reunited with its owner after it slithered into a neighbours shed and hid inside a bag of peat

Shocked neighbours in a property in St Andrews Road in Yeovil discovered the ball python inside the bag of peat when they went into their shed to start gardening yon Thursday (4 September), and called the police for advice.

Officers contacted the RSPCA, and animal welfare officer Alison Sparkes arrived at the garden in St Andrews Road, keen to find the snake.

Alison said: “Non-native snakes like pythons rely on their environment to maintain their body temperature. With the outside temperature starting to drop slightly now we’re getting into autumn, I was concerned that the snake would need to be collected as soon as possible - too long out of the comfort of a warm vivarium and she could have become unwell really quickly .

“She was curled up inside the bag of soft peat and after making some enquiries, I was very surprised when I discovered she is actually owned by a neighbour, and had been missing for nine weeks! The warm weather we’ve been having had clearly kept her relatively healthy as she seemed to be in good condition, but had she not been found this week, she would have likely deteriorated. I’m really glad to have been able to reunite the snake with her grateful owners.”

“Reptiles, particularly snakes, can be extremely good escape artists and will take the opportunity of a gap in an enclosure door, or a loose-fitting lid. "We would always recommend owners invest in an enclosure suitable for the particular species and that the enclosure is kept secure (and locked if necessary) when unattended.

"We would also advise that if anyone finds a snake they believe is non-native to keep a safe distance, monitor the snake and call the charity’s helpline on 0300 1234 999."

A video on how to care for pythons is available to watch on the RSPCA’s YouTube channel.

For more information on how to care for royal pythons, visit the RSPCA’s website: https://www.rspca.org.uk/adviceandwelfare/pets/other/royalpython

To help the RSPCA continue rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming animals in desperate need of care please visit our website.