A Bermondsey woman has told of her shock after discovering a snake hiding underneath her Henry hoover.
Kasia Radochonska was choosing her shoes when she spotted the corn snake slithering through the airing cupboard at her Cadet Drive home.
“I opened the cupboard in my flat where I keep my shoes and other bits and bobs,” she said.
“I looked at the vacuum cleaner and noticed something red, like rope. Then it moved and I thought: ‘Oh my god, it’s a snake!’”
Ms Radochonska rapidly shut the door to make sure the snake didn’t escape and called the RSPCA for help.
She wasn’t scared, she says, because the snake is only small. “If it had been a spider, I would have run a mile!” she said.
Kasia knocked on doors of her flat to find if anyone was missing the snake but nobody claimed her.
The RSPCA’s Joe Tambini came to Kasia’s flat to take the female snake away.
“She was a bit cold so I took her to RSPCA Putney Animal Hospital where she was put in a vivarium to heat up,” he said.
“People are always surprised to hear that we actually get called out to collect lots of escaped snakes who have gone wandering around the neighbourhood.
“They can slither out of their vivariums and into stranger’s homes; we’ve even had some hide for months before coming out later, much to the householder’s shock!”
Now the little snake has been named Mavis by RSPCA staff – and if nobody claims her, she will be re-homed.
“I don’t know how she got into our flat, how long she’d been there or where she came from,” added Kasia.
“You expect to spot a mouse in your flat, or a rat, or even a fox who might wander in off the street. But I never thought I’d find a snake under the Hoover!”
Corn snakes are not venomous and are often kept as pets.