An unusual guest arrives

Being an animal shelter, we receive numerous calls each day about all sorts of queries about all types of animals but this week was a first for us.

Being an animal shelter, we receive numerous calls each day about all sorts of queries about all types of animals but this week was a first for us.

A lady had some work men in to do some work in her garden.

After a couple of hours of clearing scrub back one of the workmen stumbled across what at first he thought was a toy rubber snake but he soon realised that the snake in front of him was far from a toy.

The snake started to move under some undergrowth. To say that the man and his colleagues were in a bit of a panic would be an understatement.

The lady of the house quickly called her local Gardaí station, which then turned to our friends at the Laois SPCA who called us to assist.

Maura, a volunteer from the SPCA, identified the species of snake and was able to confirm that it wasn’t poisonous. She secured the snake into a pillow case and then brought the snake to KAF where we were waiting for its arrival.

Thankfully we had the correct housing and equipment to take proper care of our new arrival. Luckily, the tank and a few other bits and pieces were donated to us a few months ago and I knew one day that it would come in handy.

Once at the shelter we were able to give it the once over to make sure was in good health, apart from been scared and cold it was in good body condition. It had clearly not had much handling, or it had been out in the wild for a number of weeks, as it was trying to strike at us and did not want to be handled.

We have already started to handle him/her and in a few weeks we will have a happy snake that likes to be held. Once in the tank and the snake had warmed up, we were then able to place some food in the tank and the hungry creature soon tucked in.

We have made some enquiries in the area he/she was found and did a Facebook appeal but as yet no one has come forward to claim the snake.

We now fear that the snake was let go after its owners no longer wanted to take care of him/her anymore. You need to be aware of snakes’ needs before committing yourself to owning one.Many types of snakes can live up to 20 years old or over if correctly cared for. They also need to be handled on a daily basis to keep them tame. Tanks and equipment can be expensive to buy when first starting out and maintained.

You should seek advice from experts and exotic animals vets before becoming a snake owner.