The 12-foot python found slithering around the Norfolk Broads has been reunited with its owner.
The lavender albino reticulated python was discovered by walkers wrapped round a rock close to the banks of a river at Stalham and was cared for by Branden Darlison-Hoskin, 19, from Mildenhall, who works in a Norfolk pet shop that specialises in reptiles.
He said today that the owner had come forward. The man had to care for his sick mother in London and had left his daughter looking after his collection of reptiles. The python had forced a ventilator off its vivarium and escaped without her noticing.
Branden said: “I was surprised to find Monty in a very good condition, I don’t think she will have been out in the wild for long. They are worth around £500 so you can’t imagine her owners would want to lose her.
“Some people were walking on the Broads and found her wrapped round a rock. They managed to put her in a bin, which is actually the right thing to do, and house her in the boiler room of a nearby restaurant.
“The RSPCA came out to get her and brought her to us as we run a shop for exotic reptiles.
“We have the facilities to house her but we would like to try and find out who she belongs to as they may be missing her.”
Reticulated pythons are the world’s longest snakes and can grow up to 25ft long.
But Branden says Monty is a gentle, placid creature who would only attack people if she is scared.
RSPCA inspector Emily Astillberry said: “I’ve been doing this job 11 years and it’s certainly the first 12 foot snake I have ever had to deal with.”