Residents of the Shankill Road in Belfast were greeted with more than just surprising temperatures yesterday after a large snake was spotted out and about in the area.
Locals took to social media to share photos of the almost 6ft-long reptile moving behind a bike rack just outside the Shankill Leisure centre.
It’s believed it was an escaped pet, with the PSNI contacting a reptile rescue service to safely remove the animal.
Witnesses have described a heavy police presence in the area with many officers wanting to get a look at the snake.
“It’s not every day you see this on the Shankill,” said one woman.
Comments on social media ranged from shock and horror to others commenting on how beautiful the snake looked.
A PSNI spokesperson said: “Police in north Belfast received a report of a large snake being found in the Shankill Road on Monday, July 18. It was reported at around 5.00pm that a snake, around 5 feet long had been spotted in the area. Officers attended and the animal was returned to its owner.”
The proprietor of the reptile rescue service that came to collect the boa posted on social media that “after some peace and quiet and fresh water, she is absolutely fine”.
He added that the snake is “real gentle and non-aggressive; she is being well cared for".
This isn’t the last time a slithery serpent has been on the loose on Northern Ireland’s streets. Last summer, a light-coloured corn snake was seen sliding between gardens in the Drumglass area of Craigavon in Co Armagh. After a month, it was successfully rehomed a by a new family, after no one came to claim the non-venomous critter.
Seven years ago, another snake found on a Ballymena street was happily reunited with its owner, after going missing six months prior. Adam Fleming couldn't believe that Celia had turned up half a year after going missing from their home.
Celia had been rescued by local traffic warden Stevie Fullerton on Albert Street in the Co Antrim town, and luckily, he had owned snakes in the past, so had no qualms in capturing the truant pet.