The RSPCA has reunited a snake missing for three months with her owner – after she was spotted under a neighbour’s washing machine!
The animal welfare charity received a call from a surprised member of the public after they found the 3ft corn snake poking out from under his appliance at 4am on Thursday (June 23).
When Animal Collection Officer (ACO) Kate Wright arrived at the block of flats at Ashwell Place, in Ashwell Street, Leighton Buzzard - the snake had moved from the washing machine and could not be seen.
ACO Wright said: “We moved the washing machine out but the snake could not be seen. After a lot of unscrewing skirting boards, we eventually found her, but it was no easy task as there was not a lot of room in the small kitchen and trying to move around the washing machine in the middle of the floor was a challenge!
“Eventually I carefully managed to pull out a healthy looking adult corn snake. Knowing she probably hadn’t come from far, I knocked on a few doors in the block and flocks and eventually found the very thankful owner.
“We found out she is called Jemima and she has been missing for three months. He was very grateful to get her back and Jemima is now safely back in her tank. We still don’t know how she managed to find her way into a neighbour’s house and survive for three months!”
Jemima’s owner, Colin Miller, said he was amazed to have her back. He said: “Jemima went missing at Easter and I’d pretty much given up on ever finding her - I looked everywhere I could think of.
“I couldn’t believe it when Kate knocked on my door and asked if I’d lost a snake. I thought, surely not? It is remarkable that Jemima has managed to survive and be returned reasonably healthy - she must have been insulated in the walls of the building.
“As soon as Kate handed Jemima to me, she wrapped herself around my arms just like she used to do. We’re so pleased that she is home.”
> Corn snakes become fairly tame following regular handling by their owner. Corn snakes can grow to 1.5m long and will often live for around 20 years.
They are most active at dawn and dusk, so they will hide and sleep during the daytime and will then come out in low lighting conditions.
Corn snakes are carnivores and opportunist feeders. In the wild they would normally hunt small mammals, birds, and other reptiles. However, in captivity these types of snakes will solely feed on rodents, with the best choice being mice.
They very rarely are known to bite humans.