Published: 15:34, 29 June 2021
| Updated: 16:03, 29 June 2021
A snake owner whose python has gone missing in a Kent town has assured panicked residents the creature is "completely harmless".
Three-year-old ball python, Clio, escaped her vivarium in Millmead, Margate, yesterday by pushing an air vent out of the back of the tank and slithering out.
But heartbroken owner Tracey Lamb is keen to stress the snake is not venomous, and says she fears her beloved pet may have died if she has ventured outdoors.
Mrs Lamb, 38, took to Facebook last night to urge people living near her home in Palmer Crescent to keep an eye out for Clio.
Her post soon sparked concern among local residents, with one even considering fleeing her home while the snake is on the loose.
One said: "Has the snake been found I have a very worried friend around the area? She wants to evacuate her property."
Another commenter wrote: "My missus has now got me stuffing the letter box and putting weights on the toilet seat!"
Others joked they would be "sleeping with one eye open" and "will never leave the house again".
"They're more scared of you than you're scared of them..."
But Mrs Lamb has been left taken aback by some of the comments and is keen to stress Clio - a black-and-tan python measuring between two and three-feet long - is harmless.
"She's not very big at all, and she's harmless" she said. "She's not venomous whatsoever.
"I know people are scared, but I would never have a venomous snake or a dangerous animal in my property.
"They're more scared of you than you're scared of them."
Mrs Lamb has another male ball python, aged 11, who was also in the vivarium with Clio but was too large to fit through the air vent.
She says snakes typically make a beeline for warm spaces, so hopes Clio is still somewhere in the property.
"I ripped my house to pieces last night, looking for her," she said. "I'm going to give the house another once over today."
She fears Clio is likely to have died if she made her way out of the house in the cold, rainy weather.
"If she's got out, then by now I think she's a goner," she said. "It's too cold outside and the seagulls or cats or foxes would have had her.
"I'm gutted - absolutely gutted, to be honest."
Mrs Lamb thanked all those who have taken to Facebook to suggest places in which she should look for Clio, and who are keeping an eye out for her.
"I thank everyone for their lovely comments," she said.