Page last updated at 16:59 GMT, Thursday, 14 May 2009 17:59 UK

Missing snake was under bookcase

Rhys Jones from Cardiff University and wildlife officer Pc Mark Goulding with the snake
The boa constrictor was found under a bookcase

A pet boa constrictor which went missing after escaping from its snake tank has been found.

Police issued a warning to pet owners when the snake disappeared last week from a house in Starling Road, St Athan in the Vale of Glamorgan.

The snake was eventually found in the property following a search by a police wildlife officer and a snake expert from Cardiff University.

Police said it had wedged itself under a bookcase in the lounge.

Snakes can reduce their size and become very small
Pc Mark Goulding

South Wales Police wildlife officer Pc Mark Goulding and Rhys Jones, a researcher in herpetology - the study of reptiles and amphibians - at Cardiff University, were called to find the red tailed boa constrictor.

"The owner had searched the house and was unable to find the snake. We had searched the grounds and in and around the road," said Pc Goulding.

"Snakes can reduce their size and become very small."

He said they moved a sofa to expose hot water pipes and discovered the snake had wedged itself in a small gap under a bookcase.

"The local community did assist us in relation to searching their gardens as some skin from the snake had been found outside, and I would like to thank them for their help," he added.

The serpent, which police said was not a danger to humans but could harm small animals, escaped when its snake tank was damaged.

It is currently being looked after by Mr Jones but will be returned to its owner when the tank is replaced.



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