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Fleet woman unable to leave flat after spotting 'stray snake' which turned out to be children's toy

3 minute read
Fleet woman unable to leave flat after spotting 'stray snake' which turned out to be children's toy

Published by the Eagle Radio News Team at 1:03pm 21st February 2020.

RSPCA staff called out to reports of a stray snake in a block of flats in Fleet say it turned out to be a plastic toy.

Officers were called to Copse Close yesterday (20 February) after someone living there became concerned that the suspected reptile had stopped moving.

It follows a report two days earlier from the same resident, who claimed to have seen it in a communal hallway when it slithered up a wall.

The animal welfare charity said the woman had been so frightened she had stayed in her flat since.

Toy Snake

RSPCA inspector Jan Edwards said:

“The woman spotted the snake in the communal hallway of her block of flats on Tuesday (18 February) and said it had slithered up the wall.

“The following day she spotted it on the windowsill and contacted us to say she was worried because it didn’t appear to be moving.

“I went down to help and, when I arrived, it quickly became clear that it wasn’t an escaped pet snake - but a child’s plastic toy!

“I think someone may have been playing a prank on the poor woman. She had been so frightened that she hadn’t left her flat!”

The toy snake has now been adopted by Jan as her van mascot.

She added:

“I’m really glad they called us for help - we would rather be safe than sorry.

"We advise people not to approach unknown species of exotic animals - particularly given that some snakes can be venomous.”

The charity says it’s called out to several cases of mistaken identity each year; from lizards that turn out to be children’s socks, to toy tigers being kept in rabbit hutches, to stone owls stuck on roofs.

We're asked to check that there is an animal in need before calling for help and to monitor them from a safe distance.

To report an animal emergency you are asked to contact the charity’s 24-hour hotline on 0300 1234 999.