A Salford man was given the shock of his life as he checked the balance on his electricity meter – after finding a three-foot SNAKE.
The North American rat snake is thought to have escaped from a house nearby.
It was found in the man’s utility cupboard on Wednesday (May 13).
The man, who asked not to be named, alerted cops, who then contacted National Centre For Reptile Welfare director Chris Newman.
Chris said the reptile is ‘harmless’ and isn’t venomous.
The animal is being looked after by someone with proper knowledge until its owner is found.
Chris’ centre is based in Kent, but offers rescue services for animals up and down the country, making use of its contacts and social media.
After being asked by GMP for help, Chris got in touch with the man who found the snake at his hosue in Weaste.
The man sent Chris pictures, before the reptile expert took to Facebook asking anyone in Greater Manchester with appropriate experience and knowledge to help.
Chris told the Manchester Evening News : “The resident was quite scared and you would expect that. Part of what we do is we try to get people to sort of get over their fears,
“We gave them advice on what to do and what not to do and we sorted it out from there.
“It was a corn snake and was totally harmless, but they didn’t feel comfortable touching the animal.
“So I told them to leave it be and send me pictures. I put it on my Facebook page – it took four minutes to get a response.
“Its remarkable how the community works.”
Kate Lui, from Prestwich, saw Chris’ post.
She lives 15 minutes away, so volunteered to collect the snake. Kate, who works in the lettings industry, has a collection of reptiles and exotic animals.
“Chris told me the man was petrified of the snake, it must have given him quite a fright,” she said.
“When I turned up, he was calm and we made sure to social distance. He said he found it when he went to check the balance on his meter.
“I reassured him and I explained to him it was completely harmless, non-venomous and it was probably an escaped pet.
“It was second nature for me to go there, when I’m not working I do a lot of work with bat, reptile and amphibian rescues.”
Kate, with Chris’ help, hopes to find the owner soon.
Chris said: “Quite often, it it’s an escaped pet, there’s a whole multitude of reasons why that could be, but somebody is obviously distraught and missing an animal, and if we can return it, that would be absolutely fantastic.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact the National Centre for Reptile Welfare – or call 07897 692060.