An escaped snake brought panic to the streets of Sheffield – before being reunited with its young owner.
The 5ft albino corn snake was spotted slithering along one of the city’s major roads – but is now back home with schoolboy owner Ivan Charlesworth, six, after its break for freedom.
The reptile escaped from the family’s home after slipping out of a bathroom window on Tuesday afternoon – and had a lucky escape after dodging traffic in busy Sharrow Vale Road.
But the snake, named Snowy Ghost because of its white colourings, is now back home safe and sound – despite bringing fear to the city’s streets.
Dad Ashley Charlesworth said: “He seems absolutely fine after his little adventure.
“He’s not eaten anything since we got him back but we think he might have had something while out and about.”
And the family have brave Brian Hamilton-Tweedale to thank for rescuing the snake after a woman who had spotted it sliding along the road ran to him screaming for help.
Said Brian: “She came running up to me saying there was a snake on the loose. It was at the side of the road and looked ready to slide into a drain.
“Obviously I was a bit nervous myself, because I didn’t know what type of snake it was but I managed to get it off the road and into a bag.
“It’s not something you expect to see on the streets of Sheffield!”
The drama began after Snowy Ghost made his bid for freedom from the family’s home near The Stag’s Head in Psalter Lane on Tuesday.
Said Ashley: “We’d taken him out of his tank because of the hot weather over the Easter holiday and he’d had the run of the house.
“I woke up on Tuesday morning with him laid next to me on my pillow – he’d obviously come upstairs during the night for the warmth.
“He looked settled so I left him there while I went off to work and didn’t think anything more of it.”
But because of the heat wave over the weekend, the bathroom window had been left open – and sensing a chance to break free, the four year old reptile took it.
Its is not clear how far the snake went on his travels or how long he was on the loose for – but Mr Hamilton-Tweedale came to the rescue in Sharrow Vale Road shortly after 3pm.
He said: “I’ve watched how they’ve handled snakes on TV documentaries so I did the same. I managed to coax its head into the bag and then I picked it up by the tail and dropped it in.”
But the drama wasn’t over.
He then took the snake to Hunter’s Bar Vets – who put out an appeal on Facebook to find its rightful owner.
Added Ashley, who owns Endcliffe Park Cafe: “I’d had a busy day at work so didn’t even realise he was missing when I got home.
“The first I knew is when I saw something on Facebook about a missing snake and realised it was probably ours.”
So he raced to the veterinary surgeon where he was eventually reunited with Snowy Ghost.
“I got there and there were some other people saying it was theirs, but when he slithered straight to me and curled around my neck, the staff knew he was ours.”
Now the family are planning on keeping a closer eye on Snowy Ghost – in case he tries another escape attempt.
“He’s fed on dead mice but since he’s been out, he’s not touched any food. They say that if a snake eats a live mouse while in the wild they will never eat a dead one again, so maybe he’s had a few snacks while he’s been out.
“We’ll not be letting him out of his tank and keeping the windows closed and keeping a closer eye on him in future,” he added.
And he says the family pet now has his own theme music.
“Somebody suggested that because of what’s happened and his colours, it should be Here I Go Again On My Own by Whitesnake. I’ve been singing along to that ever since we got him back,” he said.