Northern American Corn Snake found in Wetherby

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Drama erupted on a Wetherby street after a three-foot long North American Corn Snake was found on a garden path.

Wetherby couple Irene and Stan Maltby, of Syke Road, were alerted to the reptile after it hissed and tried to bite a delivery driver on the morning of Thursday July, 25.

The delivery man then told Mr and Mrs Maltby’s neighbours who alerted the couple to the unusual creature in their garden and took photographs.

Retired resident Stan Maltby, 68, told the News: “I was amazed, I just couldn’t believe it.

“We didn’t know where it had come from or why it was there.

“I think it frightened the van delivery driver to death.”

After the initial surprise, Mr Maltby said he grabbed the snake by the tail-end after it attempted to slither away.

The reptile - which is non venomous but can leave a nasty bite - then coiled up and Mr Maltby put a dustbin lid on top of it to prevent it from escaping.

After ringing the police and council, the couple finally managed to get in touch with the RSPCA via a Boston Spa Veterinary Practice.

Irene Maltby told the News: “I was a bit worried.

“We gave it a bit of water under the dustbin lid as we didn’t want to kill it.

“We rang round as we were not quite sure who to contact.

“These things do not tend to happen every day.”

After getting in touch with the veterinary practice, RSCPCA officers went to the house in the afternoon and bagged up the snake to take away.

Mr Maltby added: “The RSPCA told us the snake could have been there for months,.

“We have a lot of shrubs and bark in our garden so it would have loved it, they said.”

“My little grandson Alex was chuffed to bits.

“He wanted to look at it in the bag when the RSPCA officers came.

“He was very excited as he hasn’t seen a live snake before.”

The RSPCA will now look after the snake, which they believe has been kept as somebody’s pet, although RSPCA officers told Mr Maltby that no missing snakes have been reported in the Wetherby area.

The RSPCA could not be contacted for official comment at time of going to press.

The North American Corn Snake, which is orange or brownish-yellow, with large, black-edged red blotches, is carnivorous and its natural habitat is woodland, forest and shrubs. It is native to North America and can be found in the southeastern United States ranging from New Jersey to the Florida Keys and as far west as Texas.