A snake ‘wreaked havoc’ in a hotel room* in Doncaster on New Year’s Eve.
The RSPCA was called about the kingsnake – which is a species commonly kept as a pet – at about 6pm after someone had checked into the hotel, gone to their room and discovered the reptile.
RSPCA inspector Sara Jordan said: “Staff were alerted and went to the room, saw the snake, closed and put towels up against the door and promptly called us!
“Suffice to say it was not what they were expecting on New Year’s Eve!
“When I arrived I literally had to take the room apart for an hour to find the snake.
“I moved the sofa bed, the bed, curtains, checked the bathroom and every other possible hiding spot then came to the conclusion that the snake must have gone behind the headboard or the desk where the tv was.
“We managed to lift the headboard off the wall but found no snake and then we finally lifted the TV desk off the wall there the snake was, all curled up and unaware of the havoc they’d wreaked!”
Sara continued: “The snake is in good condition and clearly has been well handled as it was perfectly happy to sit in my hand whilst I chatted to a member of staff on reception – a few guests even came up to say hello!
“I think it’s likely that the snake’s owner has brought the snake to the hotel without realising, perhaps they have escaped from a vivarium and into their owner’s suitcase.
“The snake is now safe and sound at one of our partner exotic specialists and will be rehomed after two weeks if no one comes forward.
“Anyone who thinks the snake belongs to them should call the RSPCA on 0300 1238018.”
Kingsnakes are native to Northern and Central America and occupy a large range of habitats in the wild including scrubland, forests and deserts. They are mainly terrestrial (live on the ground) and often hide in rodent burrows and under logs. They are not venomous and kill their prey by constriction, feeding mainly on rodents, birds, other reptiles and amphibians.
Many of the snakes the RSPCA’s officers are called to collect 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. Reptiles, particularly snakes, can be extremely good escape artists and will take the opportunity of a gap in an enclosure door, or a loose-fitting lid. It is possible to microchip snakes and we would recommend that owners ask their exotics vet to do this, so that snakes can be easily reunited if lost and found.
If anyone finds a snake they believe is non-native our advice is to keep a safe distance, monitor the snake and call the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999.
To help the RSPCA continue rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming animals in desperate need of care please visit our website.
*The hotel involved does not want to be named.