Stockport woman finds snake in oven

Sammy the snake rescued from the oven Image copyright RSPCA
Image caption The African brown snake may have been attracted by the warmth of the oven, the RSPCA said

An elderly woman had the "shock of her life" when she found a 3ft (90cm) snake in her oven.

The 82-year-old said she wondered if her "eyes were deceiving her" when she first saw the African brown snake, which is thought to be an escaped pet.

The reptile then disappeared, before turning up in the oven again two days later at the home in Stockport, Greater Manchester.

The RSPCA was called and rescued the snake on 26 September.

The woman, who was preparing to cook some chips, said: "When I opened the oven door and saw it, I got the shock of my life.

"I have recently had a cataract operation and was wondering if my eyes were deceiving me - but my husband saw it too."

The woman, who preferred not to be named, added: "I gave the RSPCA inspector a big hug and a cup of tea afterwards, but I went off the idea of oven chips so sent my husband to the fish and chip shop instead."

Image copyright RSPCA
Image caption It was a good thing the woman didn't preheat her oven, the RSPCA said

Inspector Andy Harris said the species was not venomous and the serpent was likely to have escaped or been abandoned.

He said: "I managed to coax the snake from the oven. It must have squeezed through a wall cavity and there is a hole at the back of the oven so it was probably attracted by the warmth.

"It was lucky the couple didn't preheat the oven first."

African brown snakes are frequently found in homes in Africa and eat rodents, small lizards and birds.

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