Published: 11:00, 17 November 2017
A stunned dog walker had to take a second look after spotting a red snake slithering across the footpath in front of her.
Tracy Bishop caught sight of the 2ft reptile as she strolled home along Sea View Road in Herne Bay.
“It was just crossing the path heading onto the road,” she said. “I was worried it would get run over.
Another couple were heading towards me and I asked if they had any idea what it was, but none of us knew.
“The gentleman took a risk and picked it up. We spoke to some people near by but no one really knew anything so we decided to put it back into the bushes.”
Tracy posted the photo on Facebook, with the reptile quickly identified as a bamboo rat snake, a species native to Asia.
It is likely to have been kept as a pet before escaping.
Terry Matthews, of Penfolds Reptiles in Sea Street, Herne Bay, saw the picture on Facebook and offered to help find the snake, but to no avail.
“The undergrowth is too thick up there so I doubt it’ll come back out unless we get a few rays of sunshine,” he said.
“Bamboo rat snakes are from the colder climates of Asia, so it’ll be all right. If it can find itself a nice burrow for the winter, and has enough body fat, it’ll survive.
“It might have already been out for awhile, but it didn’t look skinny They don’t need to eat all of the time anyway.
“A lot of rat snakes are quite good escape artists, so I imagine it’s a pet that has got out.
“They’re completely harmless. If anyone sees it they can give us a call and we’ll take it in and keep it for the owner. If no one comes forward we can always find it a home.”
Anyone who spots the snake can call the shop on 01227 366700.
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