Missing snake found in middle of Tarleton road is captured by animal expert

Locals had reported numerous sightings of the red snake on social media over the past two weeks.

By James Holt
Tuesday, 3rd August 2021, 3:33 pm
Updated Tuesday, 3rd August 2021, 3:34 pm

And it is now being cared for and tamed by a Preston-based animal expert who homes more than 40 species of invertebrates and 12 species of amphibians at his house.

Last week, a volunteer who is based locally from Beastwatch UK, was called out to collect the snake that had finally been captured under a dustbin.

Locals in Tarleton had reported numerous sightings of the North American corn snake over the past fortnight before it was then seen basking in the middle of the road before it was secured under an empty dustbin.

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The snake was found basking in the middle of the road last week

The news comes after a similar-looking corn snake was pictured in Avenham Park and shared to a Preston-based Facebook page just last month.

It is now in the care of Mike Potts, a Preston-based animal and reptile expert and owner of an animal encounter events business.

He told the Post that snake sightings are becoming increasingly common as people either lose their pet reptiles or abandon them.

He said: "I had seen the post shared to social media multiple times over the past few weeks where people had said they had seen the snake and gave vague descriptions guessing what it might be.

The red corn snake had been sighted multiple times in the weeks leading up to its capture

"I am used to dealing with snakes that turn up every year, so one of my volunteers got the call that someone had seen this snake basking in the middle of the road and that they had managed to secure it under a dustbin.

"It was placed in a plastic box and brought to me at my home. I think locally there had been some concern and worry about the snake being on the loose and people may have felt wary about leaving their windows and doors open in the hot weather.

"Corn snakes are a very common reptile pet which is completely harmless but does have the ability to easily survive in our climate, so I suspect it had either escaped or was abandoned."

The Post understands there is now another corn snake that has been spotted in the same vicinity in Tarleton.

Finding snakes is 'common and anticipated' each year by animal experts

Mike, who is CEO of Beastwatch UK also runs an interactive encounters business that takes reptiles and animals to events and parties across Lancashire and lives with more than 40 different species at his Preston home including snakes, lizards, tanukis and a fox.

Many of the animals he keeps have been rehomed to him or rescued through BeastWatch call outs, as he now prepares to rehome the snake found last week.

He added: "It is undoubtedly a pet, but we have no idea how long it has been out for or where it has come from. I need to help make it become more placid before I then look to rehome it elsewhere.

"Finding or being called out to snakes is something we do anticipate and is quite common, and recently there seems to be more of a spate of people abandoning their snakes."

More information about the work of volunteers at Beastwatch UK is available from the website.

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