A 3ft long snake, more commonly found in Nevada or Arizona in the US, has been discovered in a mid Wales town by a great-grandmother.
The snake was found in a private driveway
The American Kingsnake was spotted by retired bakery assistant Hazel Davies in Llanfair Caereinion, near Welshpool, who managed to coax it into a bucket.
The reptile is thought to be a pet and could have been on the run since September, said the RSPCA.
The non-venomous snake is currently being cared for by the society.
The RSPCA said one person had come forward claiming ownership, but it was waiting for confirmation.
Mrs Davies was walking in the town on 28 December when she found the snake on a private driveway.
She rushed to fetch a bucket and carried it home and then placed it in her greenhouse overnight. The RSPCA's inspector in mid Wales, Phil Lewis, arrived the following morning.
"I thought I was seeing things at first, at second glance I discovered it was a snake," said Mrs Davies.
"I placed bubble wrap in the bucket to protect the snake and coaxed it in using a stick. I'm fond of snakes but didn't want to handle it because I wasn't sure if it was venomous or not."
"I felt sorry for it."
RSPCA inspector Mr Lewis said the snake was being cared for by a specialist in north Wales.
"It was a bit dehydrated when it was found and would have kept itself alive by eating small rodents," he added.
"It's possible the snake could have been missing since September."