THE owners of Ireland's only albino boa constrictor – which was stolen last week – are "over the moon" after being reunited with the pet snake.
The rare snake was found in a pet shop in Dublin, ending a week-long hunt.
Jenga has been with the Lynch family for eight years but thieves took her from their home in Duleek, Co Meath.
"We are very happy to have her back and it is thanks to the publicity in the media," owner Joanna Lynch said.
"She was gone for a week, but it seems she was in the shop for most of that time so she is in okay condition." She and partner Darren Ryan (30) had said that if their 6ft-long pet was returned, "we will ask no questions and we have kept to that".
They got a call from a man who said he'd bought the snake for €100 but sold her on as his girlfriend did not like her.
The snake had gone to a pet shop and both Darren and Joanne went to the shop on Saturday and retrieved her.
They say the owner told them he had not been aware that an albino boa constrictor had been stolen and had not seen the newspaper reports.
"I don't think she was stolen to order and whoever did take her clearly had no idea about what is involved in caring for snakes," said Joanna.
The family had feared that Jenga would perish if she had not been kept in the correct temperature of 30C or cared for properly as she is shedding skin.
Joanna believes that it was the publicity that resulted in Jenga being found, to the delight of their son Kai (3).
"I want to say a big thank-you to everyone who shared our story and read our story. All the publicity worked and Kai is very happy to be able to look at her in her tank again."