Gas worker shocked to discover snake in meter box at Gosport home

A GAS worker was shocked to find a snake hiding in the meter box from which he was taking a reading.

Monday, 14th December 2020, 7:08 pm
Updated Monday, 14th December 2020, 9:20 pm
A gas meter reader was shocked to discover a snake hiding in the meter box of a Gosport home.

The brown and green coloured body of the slippery stowaway was camouflaged amongst the pipes in the box at the property in Beauchamp Avenue, Gosport.

After their initial surprise the worker contacted the RSPCA to rescue the snake and take it to a specialist centre.

RSPCA inspector Hannah Nixon, who identified the intruder as a corn snake, commented: ‘It was definitely surprising for the meter reader to find this snake hiding inside. Corn snakes are one of the most common snakes kept in the UK so we do find them straying quite often.

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The reptile has been identified as a corn snake.

‘Many of the snakes we rescue are thought to be escaped pets. We would always recommend owners invest in an enclosure suitable for the particular species and that the enclosure is kept secure, and locked if necessary, when unattended. Corn snakes in particular can be extremely good escape artists and will take the opportunity of a gap in an enclosure door or a loose-fitting lid.’

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Hannah is concerned animals may escape or be released due to a lack of knowledge and understanding by owners over the needs of exotic pets.

She added: ‘We are finding that many people are unaware of how much of a commitment these animals are when they take them on, which we believe may be why we are rescuing hundreds of reptiles every year.

‘Reptiles are commonly found in pet shops and are also being sold online. However it’s sadly often the case they are handed over to buyers with very little or no information about how to care for them or the commitment that’s involved in keeping them healthy.

‘It can be very confusing for an owner who has never kept a reptile before to know how to set up a vivarium properly or understand how to tell if their reptile is unwell and needs to see an exotics vet. The conditions these animals need are not always easy to replicate in a home environment. Their needs are the same as they would be in the wild.’

Hannah also advised owners of exotic pets such as snakes to get their animals and reptiles fitted with microchips to help any future escapees to be returned to their homes.

The corn snake will be cared for by the team at the charity’s specialist reptile centre and will be rehomed unless the owner can be found.

The RSPCA advises anyone who finds a snake they believe is a non-native species to keep a safe distance and call the charity’s helpline on 0300 1234 999.

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