Snake in Basildon loo poses 'wee problem'
A snake was left feeling a little off colour after making itself at home in a toilet cistern.
The 4ft (1.2m) rat snake was found in the bathroom of a house undergoing renovation in Basildon, Essex.
The non-venomous reptile had "dyed itself a slight tinge of blue from the cleaning products", the RSPCA said.
The charity believes the snake, which the homeowners have called Kevin, is someone's missing pet and hope to reunite it.
'Kevin' made his presence known by knocking over and smashing a lit candle in the couple's home.
"My partner... saw the snake which hissed at him, then backed away into the toilet," Naomi Burdett said.
"He ran upstairs in a moment of panic - neither of us are the biggest fans of snakes and it's not exactly what you expect to see in your downstairs loo."
She said they had no idea how long Kevin had been wandering around the house as they had moved out temporarily for the renovation work to take place.
It was "bizarre" to see a snake peering from the porcelain, Ms Burdett said.
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The snake is currently being looked after at a wildlife hospital, where he is being monitored to ensure he has not ingested any of the blue water from the toilet.
Rat snakes eat small rodents which they kill by suffocating them with their bodies.
They are non-venomous and are commonly kept as pets in the UK.
However, as evidenced by Kevin, all snakes are "good escape artists", the RSPCA said.
The snake had posed a "wee problem" to the homeowners, the spokesperson for the RSPCA added.