Saved... from a toy snake

A woman who called in animal rescue after finding what she thought was a 5ft-long snake in her loft was left blushing after it proved to be a novelty draught excluder.

Officers from the Scottish SPCA arrived at a home in Kingswells, near Aberdeen, with gloves and a pillow case to snare the reptile after receiving a call from a "distressed" woman.

But they realised the equipment was not needed when they spotted that it was a snake-shaped draught excluder with a red felt tongue. Karen Hogg, a rescue officer from the SPCA, said the woman "was still very shaken".

"We've rescued hundreds of snakes from properties in all sorts of unusual circumstances, so we had no reason to believe this might not be the real thing."