Terrified father finds 4ft snake in garden 'jungle'
Published 25/07/2016 | 16:06
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.
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."