Sneaky snake gives meter reader a surprise shock
A gas meter reader was in for an unexpected surprise after discovering a snake camouflaged amongst the pipes in a meter box.
The shocked worker contacted us after spotting the slippery stowaway nestled inside in Beauchamp Avenue in Gosport.
Our inspector Hannah Nixon, who rescued the snake before taking the reptile to a specialist centre, said: "It was definitely surprising for the meter reader to find this snake hiding inside! Corn snakes are one of the most common snakes kept in the UK so we do find them straying quite often.
Many of the snakes we rescue are thought to be escaped pets. 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.
Corn snakes in particular can be extremely good escape artists and will take the opportunity of a gap in an enclosure door, or a loose-fitting lid.
Microchip your snakes
It's possible to microchip snakes and we recommend that owners ask their exotics vet to do this, so that snakes can be easily reunited if lost and found.
We're urging prospective reptile owners to ensure they do research their needs using expert sources to fully understand the type and amount of care that these animals need.
We are finding that many people are unaware of how much of a commitment these animals are when they take them on, which we believe may be why we are rescuing hundreds of reptiles every year.
Reptiles are commonly found in pet shops nowadays, and are also being sold online, however it is sadly often the case that they are handed over to buyers with very little or no information about how to care for them or the commitment that is involved in keeping them healthy.
It can be very confusing for an owner who has never kept a reptile before to know how to set up a vivarium properly or understand how to tell if their reptile is unwell and needs to see an exotics vet. The conditions these animals need are not always easy to replicate in a home environment. Their needs are the same as they would be in the wild.
Reptiles may look resilient and tough on the outside but they are actually completely reliant on their owners to provide the correct environment for the species, including heating and lighting, and an appropriate diet - all of which are essential to keep them healthy and allow them to carry out their natural behaviour.
The corn snake will be cared for at our specialist reptile centre and will be rehomed unless an owner can be found.
If you find a snake they believe is non-native our advice is to keep a safe distance, monitor the snake and call our helpline on 0300 1234 999.