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Last Updated: Wednesday, 26 July 2006, 01:21 GMT 02:21 UK
Mailed snake sparks postal panic
Albino python
The woman had sold the snake over the internet
A woman caused panic in a German post office when a 1.5m (5ft) albino python snake she was trying to send through the mail broke free of its packaging.

The 28-year-old woman had sold the snake over the internet and was mailing it to its new owner labelled "glass".

"Staff accepted the package and put it in the back of the office - they had no idea what it was," police said.

"All of a sudden, they noticed that it started moving around and then saw a big snake wriggling out of it."

One of the workers at the western city of Mechernich's post office wrestled the escaping snake and put it in a container.

It is not illegal for people to send snakes via mail, but the woman will be investigated by police over a mistreatment of animals charge.

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