The RSPCA is appealing for the owner of a missing corn snake to get in touch after a family found it in their garden.

Zak Raja, who lives in Lostock, found the snake in his private, gated back garden while cleaning up for a barbecue.

After catching it and putting it in a box, Zak called the RSPCA and the snake was collected by them.

The RSPCA recognised it as a corn snake despite believing it an adder.

An RSPCA spokesperson said: “We’d like to thank the kind member of the public for containing the snake - which is a completely harmless corn snake - which one of our officers collected yesterday (Monday) after it was reported to us late the previous night.

The Bolton News: Corn snake

“The adult snake is in good health and has now been transferred to a specialist, private establishment.

The RSPCA always recommends that anyone who sees a stray exotic snake keep a safe distance, monitor the situation and contact a local reptile specialist or our helpline on 0300 1234 999.

“There is also comprehensive advice and information for the public on our website.

“Snakes like this corn snake, which we suspect might be someone’s missing pet, are excellent escape artists and will take the opportunity of a gap in an enclosure door, or a loose-fitting lid to make a break for it.

The Bolton News: Corn snake

“Our frontline officers are out rescuing animals that may be in life-threatening situations, so a few extra minutes checking that your snake is secure could help save our officers’ time and allow them to save an animal that’s in danger.

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“We have put up posters in the area and anyone who thinks the reptile might be theirs should contact us.”

Zak had already suspected it was a corn snake after his son said they had one just like it at school.

The dad said: “I think it is a corn snake as my son has one at school and said he thinks it is.

“It must be someone’s pet as it would not survive here otherwise.

“I was doing a bit of gardening when I saw it and I hope I did not disturb the nest if it had one.

“When the kids saw it, it was complete hysterics.”