Encounters such as this are unusual – particularly for mechanics – but given the number of sibilant house guests kept domestically, they are on the increase.
Richard Gibson, curator of lower vertebrates and invertebrates at Chester Zoo, says tens of thousands of snakes are kept as pets in Britain, from constrictors and pythons to venomous black mambas and king cobras. He attributes most appearances in the wild to escape artistry.
“If snakes are held anywhere other than a tank or enclosure designed for the purpose, or if there are any gaps or damage, they can disappear with ease, often through holes that seem much too small to accommodate them,” he says.
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