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Last Updated: Monday, 17 October 2005, 19:44 GMT 20:44 UK
Snake hiding in sewers is caught
Keith the boa constrictor

A 10ft (3m) snake thought to have been living in sewage pipes in a block of flats for three months has been caught on a bathroom floor.

The boa constrictor, named Keith, is thought to have been abandoned after the resident was evicted owing 5,500 in rent to his landlord.

It has been slithering out of toilet bowls thoughout the flats in Manchester since August.

In the wild the snake lives close to rivers or swamps.

The creature has been spotted on several occasions and homeowners have put bricks on toilet seats in a bid to keep the beast from popping out of the pan.

Previous sightings of the animal were treated with scepticism but firefighters were called to the block of flats on Clyde Road, West Didsbury, Manchester after it confronted a resident going to the toilet in the middle of the night.

Despite using hi-tech fibre optic equipment to check sewage pipes, no trace of the snake was found.

However a resident who came face-to-face with the snake - thought to be female - on his bathroom floor managed to trap it by coaxing it into a bucket.

A spokesman for the Royal Society for the Protection of Animals (RSPCA) said it was not uncommon for snakes to be found in household sewage pipes.

RSPCA regional exotic animals co-ordinator Jimmy Ratcliff said: "It would have no problem travelling up and down the waste pipe and has probably been eating rats from the sewer."

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