Belfast Telegraph

Traffic warden finds snake slithering along the street in Northern Ireland

By Allan Preston

A traffic warden has been compared to Indiana Jones after capturing a snake on duty.

Stevie Fullerton had just started his early morning rounds on Tuesday in Ballymena when he was stopped by a terrified woman on Albert Street.

Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, 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.

"It was a wee corn snake of about three feet," he said.

"I explained to her that it wasn't dangerous, but she didn't want to know - she was scared a wee bit as people are with snakes.

"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.

"A snake won't survive cold weather for too long," Stevie said. "I think that snake had been lying in somewhere to conserve the heat. I'd say it wasn't too far from death if it had been out much longer."

After carefully picking the snake up with a pillow case, he took it back to his office and surprised his co-workers.

"Some of my colleagues weren't overly keen, but it wasn't a danger to them - it's an animal at the end of the day," he said.

After the discovery was reported on local radio, Mr Fullerton said he understood a local woman had come forward claiming to have lost a snake a long time ago.

The slippery encounter has brought Stevie plenty of attention in the past 24 hours, with many comparing him to the fictional snake-hating archaeologist Indiana Jones.

"It's amazing, you're walking along a street, it's totally dark and you would never expect to see this," he said.

"I'm getting all these names, snake eyes and snake hips and stuff like that -it's all a bit of good fun."

It is understood the reptile was not booked for illegally parking on the pavement.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph