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Tuesday, 1 August, 2000, 15:19 GMT 16:19 UK
Escaped snake in hamster jam
Yvonne and boyfriend Robert Shirley - with Busta
Yvonne and boyfriend Robert Shirley - with Busta
A pet snake which was missing for eight months has been found - after it got stuck in the cage of hamster it had just eaten.

Animal cruelty inspectors had to free Busta - the 4ft long rat snake - when it got wedged between the bars.

The reptile's owner Yvonne McGlashan, 17, was relieved to be reunited with Busta which was discovered in a block of flats near its home in Leith, Edinburgh.

But it was not so great news for Linda Lyon, the owner of Beano the hamster who was devoured by the snake.

'I love snakes'

Ms McGlashan, who also owns a python, said Busta was particularly fond of hamsters.

She explained: "Busta had just got loose one day about eight months ago.

"But on Thursday he was found at a neighbour's house - he'd climbed into the hamster's cage and eaten it, but then got stuck."

Ms McGlashan added: "I love snakes because they are really unusual pets - really different from cats and dogs that most people keep.

"They're quite cheap to look after because they only have to be fed once every two months or so.

'Unusual case'

"We started to give him frozen hamsters which you can buy but he didn't like them - he prefers fresh ones."

A spokeswoman for the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals confirmed an inspector from the animal welfare body attended the Edinburgh flat on 27 July.

She added: "A snake was found in the hamster cage and the indication was that it had eaten the hamster.

"Presumably once it had eaten the hamster that would show up as it digested it. The owner of the snake was there and she claimed it.

"It's quite an unusual case."

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See also:

25 Jul 00 | Sci/Tech
Tourist souvenirs harm wildlife
16 Jul 00 | Asia-Pacific
Reptiles perish in park blaze
07 Apr 00 | Scotland
Turtle mania causes welfare headache
15 Feb 99 | UK
Snake gives owner the slip
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