A SNAKE missing in Portsmouth was carrying a brood of 25 eggs.
Owner Andrew Suffield is desperately trying to find his cornsnake Bellatrix, which disappeared a month ago.
Aged four and 5ft long, Bellatrix was carrying eggs and could since have produced a litter of baby snakes.
Andrew, 42, from Dunbar Road in Milton, said: ‘She was in a vivarium.
‘Unfortunately I didn’t put the lock on it. Cornsnakes are well-known escape artists.
‘We only got her when she was two and she’d already managed to escape a couple of times from the pet shop.
‘She was quite used to getting out – that’s the trouble. She would have been hunting for a place to settle down and lay the eggs.
‘She will only lay the eggs in a suitable environment. By getting out and looking she will find somewhere to lay them which tends to be underneath houses near warm pipes.’
But Andrew said it’s unclear if the eggs will survive and develop into baby snakes.
‘There’s no way of telling whether the eggs are going to be viable until she has laid them,’ he said.’
The pet belongs to Andrew’s nine-year-old son Harley.
Andrew added: ‘It was a bit of a special present for him. He was quite upset when she disappeared. It would mean the world to us to have her back.’
Meanwhile, Andrew has advised people not to be scared, as cornsnakes aren’t dangerous.
‘The snake itself will back off while they try and find somewhere,’ he said.
‘They can fit in incredibly small spaces. They will move out of the way to somewhere we can’t get to them.’
Anyone who sees a snake resembling Bellatrix is advised to call the Portsmouth Reptile and Amphibians Society on (023) 9279 0037.