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Last Updated: Tuesday October 18 2005 13:50 GMT

Toilet snake is finally captured

Keith the boa constrictor.
A 3m snake believed to have been living in toilet pipes in a block of flats for three months has been caught.

The boa constrictor, named Keith, is thought to have been abandoned by a resident who was evicted after owing 5,500 in rent to his landlord.

The huge snake has been slithering out of toilet bowls throughout the flats in Manchester since August.

A brave resident finally put the snake's antics to an end by coaxing the creature into a bucket.

Keith - who is actually thought to be female - had been sighted loads of times by the terrified homeowners but no-one had been able to catch the slippery customer.

Residents had been forced to put bricks on toilet seats in a bid to keep the snake from popping out of the pan.

Boa Constrictor facts
They naturally come from South or Central America
They can grow up to five metres in length
They eat birds and mammals about the size of a rabbit
They can live about 30 years
In the wild they usually live close to rivers or swamps
They climb trees to pounce on their prey
A spokesman for the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) said it was not uncommon for snakes to be found in household sewage pipes.

Spokesman Jimmy Ratcliff said the snake seems to have been living quite happily: "This is not really unusual, but for a snake of such size to have been found, is quite out of the ordinary.

"It would have no problem travelling up and down the waste pipe and has probably been eating rats from the sewer."

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