NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Snake freed after five months living in rental van

Mushu the snake Image copyright Scottish SPCA
Image caption Owner Gavin Burnett was reunited with Mushu after her five month 'campervan' holiday

A snake has been released after living in a rental van for five months.

Mushu the corn snake went missing in June when her owner Gavin Burnett hired the Hertz van to move house.

The Scottish SPCA were called to Aberdeen on Thursday to reports from a "completely terrified" woman of a snake slithering around on a seat.

Mushu disappeared into the bodywork of her temporary home so was towed to an animal rescue centre where she came out of her own accord on Friday.

Image caption Mushu, who is non venomous, proved elusive even when an engineer was called to the scene

Gavin said: "We had been in the process to moving to Glasgow back in June when she went missing.

"When we couldn't find her we stripped the van and put it back together about three times, left bait and water to try and get her to come out.

"After about six days and no sign we just assumed she had escaped from the van altogether.

"It was such a shock to find out she had been spotted in the van and we can't wait to get her back home."

Image copyright Fubar News

Susan Grayson, who found Mushu in the hired van, said: "We were about to get back in the van and my partner found the snake slithering around the side of the seat, at which point we decided not to get back in the van.

"I was completely terrified. We phoned Hertz and they said they hadn't had that before. So we then phoned the Scottish SPCA.

"I am scared of spiders, let alone snakes."

'A bit disturbing'

Kyle McWhirr, animal rescue officer at the SSPCA, said: "Obviously finding a snake in a van can be a bit disturbing - but it's not uncommon to find snakes in unusual places.

"Snakes are notorious escape artists. They're very clever and can figure out how to manipulate locks so owners have to be careful to ensure their vivariums are secure.

"Unfortunately we were unable to locate the snake on site, even with the help of an engineer. The van was then towed to our animal rescue and rehoming centre here in Drumoak where we have been trying to lure her out.

"This story thankfully has a happy ending. Mushu, the corn snake, made an appearance this afternoon after living in a van for five months."

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