Escaped 10-ft python 'remains on the loose' in Kent

Search under way for Larkfield man's Costal Carpet Python, after it was photographed passing a local doctor's surgery

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A 10ft-long python was spotted on the loose in Kent after it escaped its owner's home and has yet to be recovered.

The Kent Online website reported that the snake was still at large on Saturday morning. The RSPCA also confirmed that the snake had not been found.

An RSPCA inspector was dispatched to the scene when the reptile was first spotted, the animal charity told the Independent, but by then the snake had slithered away.

The escaped snake is an 11-year-old female Costal Carpet Python. It is not thought to be deadly.

It was photographed on Friday (see image above) by Sarah Bick, who posted the picture on Facebook with the message [sic]: "Large snake seen passing Larkfield drs Surgery. Please share and be careful. dont know where it is now!! Could be a pet no one knows at this point. !!!"

Subsequently the snake's owner was identified as Chris Cini, who said he had spent Friday afternoon searching for his pet in undergrowth near a branch of Tescos.

The snake is one of nine snakes Mr Cini keeps at his home, he told Kent Online.

The RSPCA told the Independent: "Our advice for anyone who spots a stray exotic, non-native snake is to keep a safe distance, monitor the animal and call the RSPCA's cruelty line on 0300 1234 999.

"Never try to pick up a snake, unless absolutely certain that it has been correctly identified and that it is not venomous."

In 2014 RSPCA inspectors collected 1,853 reptiles, up from 1,726 the previous year.