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RSPCA called after snake found in suitcase


A couple were unpacking their suitcase after arriving back from a trip to Kuwait when they found this slippery stowaway curled up inside!

RSPCA Animal Collection Officer (ACO) Jill Sanders arrived at the plush Cumberland Hotel, in London, to find that the 30cm-long reptile had slithered inside a pillowcase.

Bit of a shock

Jill says: “I think this couple nearly jumped out of their skins unpacking after their seven-hour flight to find this long, red-and-yellow snake just sitting there on top of their towels! They were so shocked they ran straight out of the room, and wouldn’t go back in until I got there.

“I can see how this happens. People leave their cases open on the floor while they are packing in exotic places, and reptiles just crawl in looking for a quiet, dark place to hide. Unaware of what they are carrying, holidaymakers then zip up and go!”

Escaped pet

The snake has now been identified as an albino hognose snake, which isn’t native to Kuwait so is most likely to be someone’s pet that escaped.

“Luckily the snake was unhurt and should go on to find a new home,” adds Jill. “He’s doing well at South Essex Wildlife Hospital and we hope he can be rehomed with someone who’s experienced in caring for reptiles.

A fab fact for you:

Hognose snakes have upturned snouts, which give them their name. It’s unlikely they could cause serious injury to a human, although they do have a mild venom which could be toxic to their small prey, such as frogs and toads.



Hello, I'm Christine and I'm part of the team who work on the Animal Action magazine. I've been at the RSPCA for quite a while and just love being part of such a great organisation. My most favourite animals are dogs and I have a soft spot for Westies.

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