Devon

Satan the escaped python recaptured after 48 hours

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Media captionSatan the escaped snake recaptured at home in Devon

A python called Satan which slipped through a gap in the wall of a block of flats has been recaptured.

The 13ft (4m) African Rock escaped through a hole next to the toilet in his owner's flat on Friday night.

Samuel Maule immediately called firefighters and the RSPCA but after their efforts failed, cut a hole in the ceiling of his Exeter home himself.

The reptile eluded capture for 48 hours but was finally retrieved with help from South West Reptiles Plus.

More on the escaped python and other Devon and Cornwall news

Mr Maule, 20, said the snake made a bid for freedom after he had washed it in the bath.

"We were trying to pull her out but failed miserably as she is so strong," he said.

"I told all my neighbours - they were very understanding and forgiving. I wouldn't say she is aggressive, just defensive."

Image copyright Samuel Maule
Image caption Satan is approximately 13ft (4m) long
Image copyright Samuel Maule
Image caption Samuel Maule said he "takes comfort" from his extensive reptile collection

Mr Maule said he immediately alerted the authorities but the RSPCA and firefighters could not attend until Sunday morning.

Exeter station manager Rowan de la Salle said he had used specialist equipment, including cameras capable of being used in confined spaces.

"I have carried snakes out of burning buildings but I have never had to search for one that disappeared up behind the toilet," he said.

Mr Maule and South West Reptiles Plus managed to recapture the snake at 21:45 BST on Sunday after making an "educated guess" as to its whereabouts and winching it out through the ceiling using hooks.

Image copyright Samuel Maule
Image caption Satan escaped through a gap near piping and was rescued through a hole cut in the ceiling

The centre is now caring for the pet while Mr Maule "finds a solution" to the issue of it being against the rules to keep pets in the social housing block.

Devon and Cornwall Housing, which owns the building, has not commented.

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