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Last Updated: Friday, 29 April, 2005, 16:15 GMT 17:15 UK
Shopper discovers snake in celery
The water snake
The snake was taken to the RSPCA
A baby snake has been discovered curled up in a bunch of celery in a Lincolnshire supermarket.

The animal is thought to have come from Spain - where the celery was grown.

Measuring about 4 to 6ins long and the width of a pencil, it was initially thought to be an adder but turned out to be a non-venomous water snake.

The supermarket chain said its safety team was investigating the incident and the animal was being cared for by a local vet.

Unexpected guest

Mick Gilbert, an eyewitness, said: "There was a lady there and she'd got two bags of celery.

"She said she was going to buy one of them but thought there was a dead spider inside, but it wasn't a spider it was a little snake and it was alive."

It was rushed - still in its celery packaging - to the Exeter veterinary centre in Bourne.

Vet Roland Stevens said: "I haven't looked inside its mouth, it's so tiny and fragile that I'd be slightly concerned about hurting it."

He described it as fawn coloured with a zigzag black stripe down its back and black spots down the side.

Mr Stevens had contacted Defra about the find but said they did not have any protocol set up to deal with such unexpected visitors.

The vet centre called the RSPCA who will care for the creature.

Snake census seeks adder numbers
05 Apr 05 |  Scotland
Campaign to quell adder fears
31 Aug 01 |  Wales

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