Where’s Bernard? Boa last seen being thrown into a hedge

MISSING A boa constrictor similar to this one is on the loose in Portsmouth
MISSING A boa constrictor similar to this one is on the loose in Portsmouth

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BOA constrictors are normally found slithering about in hot countries and zoo cages.

So residents in Furze Lane, Milton, Portsmouth, have been left intrigued because one has been let loose near to their homes.

Rumours have circulated that a man threw the snake into a hedge after being told by a taxi driver he wasn’t allowed in the cab with it.

Since then, police officers, firefighters and the RSPCA have been out searching for the creature, but to no avail.

Steve McGovern, who works for The Landscape Group, which maintains the grounds around nearby student halls Langstone Student Village, said: ‘All I got told was a man got picked up by a taxi and he had a snake wrapped around his neck.

‘The taxi driver said “there’s no way, you are getting in here with that” so he threw it in the hedge so he could still get in the taxi.

‘It then drove him to wherever he was going. I don’t know what to make of it.’

Elizabeth Oakshott, 75, of Furze Lane, said: ‘My neighbour has three dogs and they kept going to the bush around the side of the garden, but when someone came out to check it out they found nothing.

‘The police went all along the hedge with a stick and pulled some of the branches back.’

Brian Suter, senior supervisor for The Landscape Group, said: ‘I was cutting the hedge one morning when two police officers arrived.

‘They were here about two hours and nothing was found.’

Security staff have seen the funny side of things and nicknamed the animal Bernard the Boa.

A Hampshire Constabulary spokesman said: ‘We can confirm police went to an address in Furze Lane following a report of a missing boa constrictor on Thursday, July 25.

‘It is believed the snake may be in nearby hedgerow.

‘Police located the owner. The snake was assessed as posing a low risk to members of the public.

‘The RSPCA and Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service also went to the scene.

An animal rescue specialist from Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service attended.

A thermal imaging camera was used to try to find the snake.’

· If you spot the missing snake, contact the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999.