Ipswich warning as 'hungry' snake on the loose

Diva the snake
Image caption Ready to eat, Diva is nocturnal and will hunt at night

Children have been warned to stay indoors after a "hungry" and "unfriendly" snake escaped from a house in Ipswich.

The 7.5ft (2.3m) boa constrictor, called Diva, was last seen in a tank at her owner's home in Broom Crescent on Wednesday morning.

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

Suffolk Police have advised people to keep children and pets indoors.

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."

It is thought the breeding season could have encouraged the boa constrictor to go out hunting.

The police spokesman added: "She is nocturnal and is likely to hunt at night and will bask in the warm grass or on rocks in the sun during the day.

"It will hide, for example, under sheds when not hunting or warming."

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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