Corn snakes 'expert' escape artists - USPCA

Corn snake found in Whitehead.
Corn snake found in Whitehead.

Whitehead residents were dealing with a slippery creature over the bank holiday weekend after a snake slithered into town.

The reptile, identified as a corn snake, was discovered under the wheel of a car on the Islandmagee Road on Sunday evening.

Commenting on the unusual visitor, East Antrim MLA John Stewart said: “I’m not sure if it escaped or was released into the wild as an unwanted pet.

“I’ve been told it’s a harmless corn snake which are popular as pets. Thankfully another snake owner took it in and has been looking after it until either the owner or a new home can be found.

“If anyone knows anything about the snake, please feel free to contact me on Facebook.”

The animal is being cared for temporarily by Whitehead resident, Lynsey Niblock, who has her own pet corn snake, Ozzy.

Lynsey’s mum Patricia explained: “Since Lynsey already knows how to feed and take care of corn snakes, she said she would look after this one until the owner comes forward.

“Ozzy is about four times larger than this one so we think it’s just a baby.”

The younger snake is being housed in a specially adapted box or vivarium, which had been outgrown by its predecessor.

And the rescuee’s smaller size means a smaller appetite than resident reptile Ozzy, whose main diet consists of baby rats.

David Wilson from the USPCA commented: “The snake is a corn snake, non-venomous but capable of inflicting a bite on the unwary.

“They are experts at escaping; we get regular reports of corn snakes turning up in unusual places.

“They are carnivores and feed can be sourced through specialist pet shops.”

Much like pet dogs and cats, snakes can be microchipped, making the owners easier to identify.

“If an owner is not found quickly, we can arrange accommodation in our veterinary hospital,” David added.