South Scotland

Dad's shock after children find boa constrictor in garden

Snake in garden Image copyright Bruce Baker
Image caption Mr Baker said he was a "bit shaken" at first when he saw the snake in his garden

A father has spoken of his shock after his children found a seven-foot boa constrictor in their garden.

Bruce Baker thought the youngsters were playing a prank when they told him to come and see the 2.1m-long snake.

He and a neighbour had to coax the boa constrictor into a plastic box until the Scottish SPCA arrived at his home in the Scottish Borders.

Efforts are continuing to try and trace the owner of the stray snake, which was captured in Innerleithen on Sunday.

The boa constrictor, which is thought to be an escaped pet, has been taken to the Scottish SPCA rehoming centre in Edinburgh.

Image copyright Bruce Baker
Image caption The snake is thought to be an escaped pet

Mr Baker said he was "a bit shaken at first" because his youngest child is just one year old.

"She's not long walking and she was sort of dottering about the front doorstep, and the snake was just off the side of the grass, so she would have been literally a couple of metres from it," he said.

He said the snake had been found under his son's bike.

Plastic toy box

"Its head was underneath there, and the rest of its body was round the side of the house," he added.

"So I was thinking what could have happened, because I believe it's a boa constrictor, one of the snakes that squeeze you, and my child's quite wee."

Father-of-four Mr Baker said he made sure his children were safe inside the house before he went back outside.

Image copyright Bruce Baker
Image caption The Scottish SPCA was called out and the boa constrictor was taken to its rehoming centre

"I phoned the Scottish SPCA and they advised me to try and contain it within a box," he said.

"My neighbour helped me get it into a plastic toy box - I'm glad he was dealing with the head end!

"It was actually very calm, I'm not sure if it maybe had a touch of sunstroke."

Scottish SPCA animal rescue officer Jamie Cameron said he had been called out to the incident.

"The snake was an approximately seven-foot long boa constrictor and has been taken to our animal rescue and rehoming centre in Edinburgh," he said.

"He is quite thin so we believe he has been straying for some time."

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