An Irish grandmother got the fright of her life when the ‘stuffed toy’ she found under a bed turned out to be a live snake.
County Laois woman Margaret O’Brien, a 65-year-old from Mouthrath, noticed what appeared to be a nail sticking out from under a bed on Monday evening.
The Irish Times reports that what she thought was a toy belonging to one of her grandchildren was in fact a three foot snake.
She told the paper she was ‘horrified’ when the tail of the ‘toy’ started to move.
“I’m coming to a little bit now, I thought it might have been a toy, I was going to pick it up,” she told the paper.
Her nephew and some friends eventually bagged the snake and contacted local police and the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
Their investigations led them to a house a number of doors away where a further three snakes and six terrapins were found.
O’Brien added; “It’s just awful what has happened. I was as near to touching it because I thought it was the tail of a grandchild’s toy. I don’t know how it got in. I do leave the windows open for the air.”
ISPCA chief inspector Conor Dowling said: “There remains a question mark over how the snake escaped. Certainly for it to go across country and appear in another house is unusual.”
Dowling told the paper that the four snakes found in the nearby house appeared to be small constrictors, possible rat snakes or king snakes.
He said: “These ones are pretty harmless compared to what is being sold out there without regulation.
“In Ireland you need a licence to buy a dog but you can buy a tiger or crocodile without anything”.