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Alert as snake found on M25 hard shoulder near Orpington

PUBLISHED: 16:46 15 April 2019

A corn snake was spotted on the hard shoulder of the M25 near Orpington

A corn snake was spotted on the hard shoulder of the M25 near Orpington

Archant

There was a slippery customer on the M25 that needed some attention from traffic officers - a metre-long corn snake.

Highways England said drivers using the motorway near Orpington had to 'snake' extra care when the reptile was spotted near the hard shoulder.

It was discovered by traffic officers, named only as Lee and Michael, on Monday morning after contractors working at the side of the road thought there was something suspicious around.

Claire Rowley, Highways England operations manager, said: “We received a call that a brightly coloured orange corn snake had been sighted sunning itself on the hard shoulder near Orpington.

“It looked pretty big but we weren't sure of the scale so Lee and Michael, rather than re-coiling at the sight of it, moved in for a closer look.”

Making sure the snake was moved to safety was time well 'serpent', she said, for all involved, especially road users and the snake.

Unable to resist and more puns, she said if it hadn't been spotted, the beast could have adder-ed up to the M25 being closed as a result of collisions, leaving traffic snaking back for miles.

And she still wasn't finished, saying the snake wasn't too hissed off about being moved and is being looked after by staff at the Eagle Heights Wildlife Foundation in Dartford.

Sally Ames from the centre, said: “We thank the traffic officers for bringing the snake to us to look after while we wait for its owner to come forward. We will ensure that the snake is well looked after and hopefully it will make friends with our resident corn snake, Squiggle.”

Corn snakes are native to North America that subdues small prey by constriction, and they are found through south eastern and central America. They have a docile nature and are reluctant to bite but will if stressed.

The corn snake gets its name due to its presence near grain stores, where it preys on mice and rats that eat harvested corn.

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