Snake reunited with owner

Mavis Austin of Stranton Pets pictured with the snake
Mavis Austin of Stranton Pets pictured with the snake

A SNAKE which was taken to a pub in a woman’s handbag and sparked an hour-long police hunt has been reunited with its owner.

The slippery customer is now back at home on Hartlepool’s Headland after it got loose and ended up in the care of Stranton Pets after an unusual series of events.

And the owner, who does not want to be identified and is a regular customer at the shop, unknowingly came within feet of her missing pet after popping in for supplies.

Pet shop owner Mavis Austin had appeared in the Hartlepool Mail asking for the owner of the non-poisonous 1.5ft-long black and yellow snake to come forward.

She said: “The owner has been found after spotting the story in the Mail.

“She had been in the shop earlier. It had been in front of her.”

Mavis had asked the Mail not to print too many specific details of the snake’s age and breed to make sure it was going to its rightful owner.

She added: “The owner said ‘it’s my Carolina king snake’.

“She and her son had been looking everywhere for it and had almost given up hope. She should probably change its name to Lucky.

“She was just thankful and it’s thanks to the Mail for covering the story or she wouldn’t have found out its whereabouts.”

The Mail reported on Wednesday that the snake caused quite a stir after it was spotted in the middle of the road outside The Headland Club, in Throston Street around 10.30pm on Friday, July 15.

The Carolina king snake is native to the USA and Mexico and in the wild feeds on venomous snakes, rodents, frogs, lizards, small turtles and salamanders.