'Missing' hungry boa constrictor found at Ipswich home

A "hungry" snake which was thought to have escaped, leading police to warn children to stay indoors, has been found safe at the owner's home.

The 7.5ft (2.3m) boa constrictor, called Diva, escaped from a tank at her owner's home in Broom Crescent, Ipswich, Suffolk, on Wednesday morning.

The owner had described the snake as "unfriendly" and said it might bite if approached, but it was not venomous.

On Thursday afternoon the snake was found under the kitchen sink.

'Window of opportunity'

Diva's owner Abbi Harding said the snake escaped by breaking the lock to her tank.

"She had a small window of opportunity when I let the dogs out and I came back and saw the door was ajar... In those few moments I thought she might have gone straight out there," she said.

Ms Harding said she had an "inkling" the snake may have still been in the house and left a dead rat under the kitchen sink in the hope that Diva would be tempted by it.

She said she would be fitting two locks on the snake's tank to make sure Diva does not escape again.

On Wednesday night Suffolk Police advised people to keep children and pets indoors.

At the time a police spokesman said: "The snake was last fed about three weeks ago and is due a feed.

"Suffolk Police cannot rule out a risk to the public and residents are advised to keep children and pets indoors.

"However, our understanding is that this snake will only feed on small animals such as mice and rats."

Boa constrictors are commonly found in tropical forests in South America and are from the family of constricting snakes, which kill their prey through asphyxiation.

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