A TERRIFYING tale had a happy ending yesterday as a slippery escapee was reunited with his owner.
On Tuesday Naomi Bushall, of Redhouse, was given the fright of her life when she opened her airing cupboard to find a 4ft snake staring back at her.
The reptile was taken into care and after an appeal on social media, Boris, an Australian Spotted Python, was identified and given back to owner 21-year-old Daniel Oliver.
It emerged that the snake had first disappeared six months ago when Daniel, who now lives in Old Town, moved out of a flat in the same building as Naomi.
He said: “Boris was in a locked tank but I woke up one morning to find it slightly ajar. I searched high and low, and told the landlord but with no success.
“I had given up hope of ever seeing him again. Then a friend of mine saw a post on Facebook this week about what had happened. They are quite rare snakes, so as soon as I saw a picture I knew it was mine.
“He’s actually in really good shape so he must have eaten. I’m not sure what he has had but he normally eats rodents.”
Boris will now return home following his adventures and Daniel, who has had him for five years, has said he will make sure his tank is secure.
“I am really happy to have him back,” he said.
“I have a few reptiles but Boris was my first. When I first got him he was in a really bad shape and the vet told me it was probably best to put him down but I didn’t.
“He is not poisonous and wouldn’t hurt anyone but I will make sure he is secure.”
The reunion took place at Drove Road Fire Station where rural safety officer Colin Owens handed the snake back.
“When we first got the call we thought it might be a grass snake or, at worst, an adder,” said Colin.
“Obviously, as soon as we saw the size of it we knew it was something else.
“I was with Graham Pashley, who is also on the team, and neither of us has come across something like this before.
“Because we didn’t know if it was poisonous we had to make sure everything was done properly.
“We weren’t expecting to find the owner so quickly but everyone is delighted there has been a happy ending.”