One slippery customer for Carlton mechanic

At Carlton Service Station are Helen Duke of Sam's Safaris and mechanic Nick Gray. (BUY THIS PHOTO L0599TS) Picture: Tony Saxton

At Carlton Service Station are Helen Duke of Sam's Safaris and mechanic Nick Gray. (BUY THIS PHOTO L0599TS) Picture: Tony Saxton

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It was more a case of missing Sid than hissing Sid, when animal lover Helen Duke lost her favourite snake in her car.

Well it would have been except the reclusive reptile was a female kingsnake called Kerry.

Mechanic Nick Greg realised the scale of the problem when Helen, the founder of Pollington-based Sam Safari called in at Carlton Service station with Kerry conspicuous by her absence.

Said Nick: “Helen had been transporting her snake from Sam’s Safaris to a show at Drax Club on Saturday afternoon, when she went missing.

“Somehow she had wriggled free from his travelling case and got into the air ducting of the car.

“Helen had tried looking for it but by teatime still had no joy, so she took the car to our garage to see if we could find it.

“We were only too pleased to help. We put a video camera in the air vent to have a look, but after two and a half hours there was no sign of it at all.

“We started taking bits off the car and it got to the point where we were taking the dashboard to pieces.

“Because of the warm weather we have been having, apparently reptiles are a lot more active as they are cold blooded animals.”

Helen was finally reunited with the snake when it was eventually discovered underneath the engine on the underbay - two days later.

“We decided to look in the engine bay, because Helen said it had been a cool night and the snake would have tried to keep itself warm.

“Helen was really pleased to find her - had she got out of the car she could have lost her forever.”

Founded in 2002 by Helen, the Sam Safaris team has over 20 years combined experience giving educational talks and parties all over Yorkshire.

The team offers the channce for schools a clubs to get up close and personal with a variety of rare and exotic insects, mammals, molluscs amphibians from around the world.

Thanks to Nick it still has its snake.