Family discover 4ft-long python hiding in boiler after it slithered into their home through a cat flap

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Oct 2, 2014 in Rat Answers | Subscribe
  • Father and kids bemused over breakfast when serpent poked its head out
  • Mother with snake phobia suffered a panic attack and forced to flee kitchen
  • Slithery visitor believed to be an escaped pet which is popular across Britain
  • Now scaly visitor expected to be reunited with owner who saw it on news

Jeff Farrell For Mailonline

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A family got a fright when they found a four-foot python hiding in their boiler.

The snake is believed to be an escaped pet which slithered into the house in Bournemouth, Dorset, overnight through a catflap – looking for somewhere warm and safe to hide.

And now the python is expected to be reunited with its owner, a local boy, after his parents saw the story of the surprise visitor to the Ramdharry home and believe it is their son’s missing snake. 

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The out-of-home constrictor wrapped around family's boiler after its search for a place to sleep and stay warm

The out-of-home constrictor wrapped around family’s boiler after its search for a place to sleep and stay warm

Jason Miller from local pet shop reaches into heater to remove python visitor from the Ramdharry family home

Jason Miller from local pet shop reaches into heater to remove python visitor from the Ramdharry family home

The slithery drama unfolded when Dhan Ramdharry and his wife and three children were preparing for breakfast the next morning when they noticed the cover of the boiler was loose before the serpent poked its head out.

Mr Ramdharry’s wife Kelly has a severe phobia of snakes and suffered a panic attack when she saw it and fled. Their 13-year-old son Brandon also left the house but children Ruby, nine, and Marley, 14, were keen to watch what happened.

Mr Ramdharry, a care home owner, tried calling the RSPCA and the local vets with no luck, so summoned Jason Miller from a pet store in Bournemouth, Dorset.

The snake was identified as a royal python, a type of constrictor snake. It is a popular pet due to its typically docile temperament.

Jason recovered the snake, a fully-grown male of about 4ft in length, and is now looking after it at his shop, Reptiles Plus.

Mr Ramdharry, 38, said: ‘I’d been in the kitchen all morning and I hadn’t even noticed the cover of the boiler was partly off. My son said ‘what’s that?’ and my wife started screaming ‘it’s a snake’.

‘Kelly has a huge phobia of snakes, she can’t even look at a picture of one. She had a panic attack and ran out of the room crying.

‘My daughter wanted to hold it, my younger son ran to a friend’s house and wouldn’t come back and my other son got a golf club.

‘I kept thinking ‘is this real? Is it plastic?’ but it was watching me and followed me every time I moved.

Dhan Ramdharry, pictured left, with his children Marley, 14, and Ruby, 9, look on in marvel at the slithery visitor

Dhan Ramdharry, pictured left, with his children Marley, 14, and Ruby, 9, look on in marvel at the slithery visitor

‘We had the heating on the night before because it suddenly went a bit chilly. The reptile guy said they see infra-red heat so it would have seen our house was noticeably warmer than others.

‘Thankfully we had been in our lounge watching TV that night. If we had seen a snake slither across the floor I think even I would’ve had a heart attack.

‘My poor wife can’t sleep since it happened. She keeps waking up thinking a snake is on her.

‘We were lucky. Other types of python can be aggressive and will strike and bite but this one isn’t generally. Obviously I didn’t know that at the time. I don’t have a huge problem with snakes but it has freaked us all out.’

Dhan Ramdharry, left, is bemused while Jason Miller from a local pet shop grapples with the 4.ft constrictor 

Dhan Ramdharry, left, is bemused while Jason Miller from a local pet shop grapples with the 4.ft constrictor 

Although most of the family were left shaken by the incident, nine-year-old Ruby now wants a pet snake.

And Baxter, the family’s pet beagle dog – a scent hound, bred for its tracking ability – is in the doghouse after failing to notice the intruder.

Mr Ramdharry said: ‘He’s meant to be a hunting dog and he just sat in the lounge. His nose must be broken.’

The family have also taken to locking the catflap at night, until Kelly feels better.

Jason Miller from local pet shop finally removes the python visitor from the Ramdharry family's heating system

Jason Miller from local pet shop finally removes the python visitor from the Ramdharry family’s heating system

Mr Miller, from Reptiles Plus in Bournemouth, said: ‘It’s very unlikely that a person has dumped the snake. The chances are it pushed its way out through a vent or someone left its tank open.

‘If the weather is too cold the animal can’t eat or do anything, so it’s probably gone inside looking for somewhere safe to hide, it certainly wouldn’t be looking for food. They want to be left alone to conserve their energy.

‘If it did bite it would be a very mild scratch. A stray dog or cat would give you a far worse injury.’

Royal pythons – Python regius in Latin – are the smallest of the African pythons and typically range in size from 3ft to 5ft. They live for an average of 20 to 30 years in captivity and are generally active during the night and hide during the day.

The snake finally taken from the boiler and the python is now in now in a local pet shop waiting for a new home

The snake finally taken from the boiler and the python is now in now in a local pet shop waiting for a new home

Their diet consists of small mammals such as rats, shrews and mice.

The centre is currently monitoring the snake and it will then be rehomed or taken to the RSPCA.

But it looks like the scaly visitor to the Ramdharry family may not be out of home for long.

The python is expected to be reunited with its owner after his parents saw the story in the news and thought it could be their son’s snake, which has been missing for four months.

The owner lives in the same block of flats as the Ramdharry family, on the top floor, but Dhan said their home on the ground floor has a separate entrance so the snake must have come out one side of the building and back in through their door or have slithered through the walls.

The snake, called Sid, is 18-years-old and four-and-a-half feet long and escaped from its tank.

The owner visited the Ramdharrys with a bottle of wine and chocolates to apologise for their scaly visitor.

Mr Miller from Reptiles Plus, where the snake is being kept, said the owner would be coming in to identify the python and if he could pick it out the boy and the constrictor will be reunited.

Mr Ramdharry said: ‘It’s good news. 

‘The owner came round with a bottle of wine and chocolates to say sorry. I think he’s going to collect it from the reptile shop so Sid will be reunited with his owner soon.

‘We don’t share a front door, we have a separate entrance so I don’t know where he has been lurking for four months.’

Mi Miller said: ‘The snake probably come through the walls and round some piping or gone outside and then come back in again. It didn’t have many injuries so I would assume it’s been inside.’

 

 


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