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Huge python found on country road in Reculver, outside Herne Bay

Two brave cyclists and a van driver unleashed their inner Steve Irwin as they managed to wrestle a 7ft python into a makeshift bag.

The huge snake - thought to have been dumped by a previous owner - was brazenly soaking up the sun on a country road in Reculver, near Herne Bay.

On Monday evening, while others opted to steer clear of the reptile, father-of-two Toby Gavin - along with his friend Rod - decided to stay with the creature and call for aid.

"There was a cyclist coming the other way and he shouted 'be careful there's a snake in the road'," the 45-year-old recalled.

"I looked at Rod and asked 'did he just say there was a snake in the road?' He said 'don't be bloody stupid'.

"But we got round the corner and there it was, a huge seven or eight foot python soaking up the sun.

"It was a big size, I'm sure without a doubt it could take a dog, or even something bigger.

' I switched into Steve Irwin mode and grabbed its tail...'

"If that thing was hungry, God knows what it would have eaten.

"It was in the full sun, in a sort of crouched attack mode - it was very alert. It also had blood coming from its mouth."

Concerned for its welfare and failing to get through to the RSPCA, Toby and Rod decided to call the police.

As they diverted traffic around the python's sunny spot in Brook Lane, the reptile began to slither off into a neighbouring field.

"For its own safety and for the safety of others in case it got away, I switched into Steve Irwin mode and grabbed its tail," Toby explained.

Brook Lane where the snake was found. Stock picture
Brook Lane where the snake was found. Stock picture

"I pulled it back and that's when it lurched around and lunged at me, with its mouth open. I certainly knew what it wanted to do.

"Thankfully it didn't get me and then it stayed stationary in the road.

"A chap in a van stopped and he had a dust sheet, so we got it out and he and Rod started trying to get it into this dust sheet.

"He was seriously having to wrestle with it. Rod is a big guy but he had to wrestle this thing, it was tightening up around his arm. There were definitely a couple of hairy moments.

"They both did a grand job as I'm sure neither of them had handled anything more than a worm in their lifetime, let alone a 7ft python."

After capturing the snake, they managed to tape up the sheet and wait for the police to arrive.

"They didn't want to get too close to it for obvious reasons," Toby said. "They got out a big evidence bag - like the size of a body bag - and wrestled it inside."

The snake was then taken to Penfolds Reptiles in Herne Bay.

"It's in a bath full of water rehydrating," he said, "and it's all healthy with no broken bones and is set to make a full recovery.

"The guy at the shop says it isn't underweight or anything. It could be an escapee, but I think it must have been taken out and abandoned."

Once it has been cared for at the Sea Street reptile shop, the python is set to be rehomed.

Looking back on the bizarre episode, Toby, who lives with his family in Norton outside Sittingbourne, said: "It was quite different to just finding a pothole.

"We didn't fret or panic. We used logic and at the end of the day it's more frightened of you than you ought to be of it.

"You do what you think is right."

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