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Last Updated: Saturday, 6 October 2007, 11:06 GMT 12:06 UK
Wardrobe snake harmless intruder
A common king snake, related to the black king snake
A common king snake, which is related to the black king snake
A snake found in a wardrobe in County Antrim and killed by the householder was harmless, experts have said.

The Belfast Telegraph reported a man found the hissing snake in a wardrobe in Whitehead and fled the premises, returning with a stick and beating it.

He reported killing the snake to police who brought the remains to the Environmental Health Department of Carrickfergus Borough Council.

An image was sent to Belfast Zoo who could not positively identify it from the picture.

The animal was put in the council's freezer and later identified by a Belfast specialist reptile retailer as a Mexican black king snake, considered harmless to humans.

No-one will be prosecuted over the death of the animal, police have said.

The USPCA said finding a snake in your home is frightening, but that the animal can be contained in non-lethal ways until any potential threat is established.

They advise leaving the room and shutting the door to secure the animal then contacting the police, zoo or themselves.

It is unknown how the snake made its way into the man's wardrobe.

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