A SNAKE, who has spent the last three months on the run in Solihull’s pipes and sewers after crawling up a charity shop toilet and startling staff, has finally been caught.
The six-foot long corn snake, who first appeared in the Blue Cross animal charity store in Station Road in April this year, reappeared in the same charity shop after slithering up the U-bend and hiding in among bags of donations.
But this time shop manager, Rita Coles, was on hand – catching the slippery customer in an old picnic basket before taking it to a local pet shop.
“I couldn’t believe my eyes when I realised what I was looking at,” Mrs Coles told the Observer.
“I was sorting through donation bags and saw just six inches of him poking out.
“I moved a bag and there he was – just looking at me with his little orange face.”
Not wanting to give the serpent time to stage another escape, Mrs Coles acted quickly.
Remembering a programme she had seen on television, she carefully grabbed the snake’s head and put him in a picnic basket before quickly shutting the lid and taking it The World of Fish and Pets shop, on the Coventry Road in Sheldon.
There, managers and owners Brendan and Suzanne Beale are nursing the snake back to full health before putting him up for adoption.
Mr Beale said: “When he was brought into us he had a few scratches but seemed well fed – so he must have been eating something while he was on the run.
“He has shed his skin and has a healthy appetite.”
But as the non-venomous corn snakes are not native to England, Mr Beale said he is almost certainly an escaped pet.
“We vet all the people that rehome animals from us,” he explained.
“But at the end of the day it is the responsibility of his new owner to keep a watchful eye on his habit of escaping down toilets.”