Monday 26 September 2016

Terrified father finds 4ft snake in garden 'jungle'

Published 25/07/2016 | 16:06

A 4ft black snake was found in a back garden in Ipswich
A 4ft black snake was found in a back garden in Ipswich

A father-of-three had a near hiss when he found a large black snake he feared was a deadly constricter in his back garden.

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Mark Sampson was working outside his home in Ipswich when he spotted the 4ft snake under a railway sleeper on Sunday afternoon.

The 44-year-old caretaker, of St John's Road, said: "I was shaking and terrified. I was too shaky to photograph it and went indoors in a panic attack.

"I'm terrified of snakes."

Mr Sampson issued a cry for help on his Facebook page and also contacted his friend Kevin Wallace, who is a zoologist at Otley College.

Mr Wallace went round immediately to rescue the snake, lifting it into a sack with the help of friend Katy Hackett, a children's nurse who has no experience of snakes.

The rescue was captured on camera by Mr Sampson's daughters Tabby, 14, and Tilly, 12.

Mr Sampson added: "My youngest Savannah, 10, came in the garden and was quite curious. She named it Bob."

Experts are now trying to determine whether the creature is just a large grass snake or a Mexican Kingsnake, native to the Sonora Desert on the Mexican-US border.

Although Mexican Kingsnakes are not poisonous, they are constrictors which kill their prey by asphyxiation.

Mr Sampson added: "If it's a Kingsnake I have no idea how it got there.

"I was attempting to clear my jungle of a garden but it was more of a jungle than I realised. My lesson is to keep my garden trimmed back."

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