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Last Updated: Saturday, 11 March 2006, 17:41 GMT
Snake in taxi gives driver fright
The snake, now with the RSPCA
The Californian King Snake is not poisonous
A taxi driver with a phobia about snakes had the shock of his life to discover one living in his car boot.

Anthony Short found the non-venomous California King snake when he opened the boot to remove his coat during a nightshift in Caerphilly, south Wales.

He said: "I'm petrified of snakes. This wasn't a baby snake."

He believes the snake had been in the car for five days before he found it on Wednesday. The RSPCA said on Saturday it had located its owner.

This is a highly unusual habitat for a snake
Keith Hogben, RSPCA

Mr Short said: "I picked up a couple of lads five days ago and as they left the taxi at the Piccadilly pub in Caerphilly, one of them said, 'I've lost my snake'.

"I thought he was winding me up."

The snake is brown with cream markings. Adults grown to between 75-175cm (30-70ins).

RSPCA animal collection officer, Keith Hogben, said: "This is a highly unusual habitat for a snake.

"Snakes should never be carried about like this, as it not only distresses them but also members of the public who come into contact with them."

The snake was looked after by a Cardiff vet until the RSPCA located its owner.

Watch the snake found in the boot of a taxi

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