Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Snake found on Ballymena street reunited with owner - after going missing 6 months ago

Published 24/12/2015

Celia the snake reunited with owner. Pic: Jungle World
Celia the snake reunited with owner. Pic: Jungle World
Traffic attendant Stevie Fullerton with his slippery customer
Celia the snake in her temporary 'get better box.
Celia the snake in her temporary 'get better box.

A snake found by a traffic warden who had a morning work round with a difference last week has been returned to her owners - after being missing for six months.

Traffic warden Stevie Fullerton was dubbed Indiana Jones after capturing Celia the snake on duty on Tuesday in Ballymena when he was stopped by a terrified woman on Albert Street.

Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph at the time he said: "Before I could get to her, she shouted, 'Watch, there's a snake'.

"Then I looked down and there it was crawling along the footpath towards me."

Luckily, Mr Fullerton had owned snakes in the past.

"These types of snakes aren't venomous - they're constrictors, so they don't carry venom.

"They kill their prey by squeezing them to death, but that type of snake can't hurt anybody really."

Noticing that the snake had cast its skin, he guessed the reptile had been out in the wild for some time.

And in an incredible stroke of luck - the owner of Celia the snake who feared she had died after disappearing six months ago - recognised her and came forward.

Owner Adam Fleming  couldn't believe that Celia had turned up on Ballymena street after all this time.

Traffic attendant Stevie Fullerton with his slippery customer
Traffic attendant Stevie Fullerton with his slippery customer

His partner Kitty Sneade said the snake had escaped when they went away for a few days in July.

She told the Belfast Telegraph: "Celia managed to squeeze through a gap and escaped. We searched everywhere for her and couldn't find her anywhere - we gutted the bedroom.

 "We couldn't find her so assumed she was dead. Then my friend tagged me in a post on Facebook and said 'Wouldn't it be funny if it was Adam's snake?'

"I looked at the picture and said 'Oh my God it is Adam's snake'

"I spent about four hours trying to find out where it was."

Now they can't believe they have her back having picked her up from Jungle World where she was left - but she now requires some TLC.

Kitty said: "It's just unreal. She's a little bit damaged and looked like she might have been in a fight with a cat.

"But she is home and warm and that is the main thing.

"We are going to have to bath her every day for the next couple of weeks to help her shed her skin and she's got some cuts that are a little bit dirty.

"She's in a special box at the moment so she can stay clean and she'll go back into the proper tank in a couple of weeks and then she'll be all better.

"There is nothing to her. She wouldn't even bite you. She's really friendly she just likes to be warm that's all it is.

"She may be long but she's very small.

"She's really quite thin - she looks scary because she's long."

Online Editors

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph