AN ACCRINGTON man had the shock of his life when he woke up to find an intruder in his bedroom.
The slippery customer wasn't a burglar looking to pinch Shakil Ahmed's worldly belongings … but an escaped snake looking for a new home.
Mr Ahmed, of Craven Street, was astonished to see the foot-long baby snake lying on his duvet and jumped out of bed, terrified it could be poisonous.
He ran downstairs to get a sticky mat, normally used to catch mice and rats, and used it to trap the animal while he went for help.
The 27-year-old chemist, whose wife and two young children were out at the time, then contacted the police, who promised to send someone over by the evening. But unable to wait that long, Mr Ahmed contacted the RSPCA, which sent animal collection officer Jimmy Ratcliff round to catch it.
Mr Ratcliff said that the orange and black corn snake like the one pictured above, which is native to North America, was likely to have been an escaped pet. He will now look for a new home for the animal.
He said: "This man was terrified of the snake but it was not dangerous. Corn snakes are from the constrictor family and this one was only young - they usually grow to around four or five feet long. Snakes are renowned for being escape artists and this snake is likely not to have travelled far.
"Every year the RSPCA is called to collect around 4,000 abandoned or unwanted exotic animals and more and more people are keeping snakes as pets, which worries us. We believe that exotic animals do not make good pets as they require specialist care."