Nature Video

By Amy Farnworth


A family from Scunthorpe were given the shock of their lives when they discovered a five foot long Tiawanese Beauty Rat Snake had taken up residence in their garden.

But after being unable to get through to the RSPCA to report it, they faced a Mexican stand-off with the aggressive reptile.

Pic from Caters News

And when it almost bit one of his children, dad Richard, saved the day by heroically capturing it and taking it to the local vets.

Mum, Lisa Pell, from Flixborough, had just finished work on Thursday (19th July) and found to her horror that a giant snake was lounging across the family pagoda in her garden, basking in the sunshine.

Lisa, 49, who has a huge phobia of snakes, spotted the rare reptile dangling in front of her kitchen window and said she immediately felt scared and horrified.

The mum of three who runs her own t-shirt printing business said: “I’ve never even seen a grass snake before so to spot this outside my kitchen window, hanging from the pagoda, was terrifying. 

“I’ve no idea where it came from, we live in a small village and our garden is surrounded on all four sides, so I don’t know how it got in.

“I hate snakes, I won’t even go in a reptile house when we visit zoos.”

Pic from Caters News 

After noticing that the family were spying on it, the snake decided to slither down the pagoda and explore some more, finally resting behind a pile of wood further into the garden. 

Lisa tried to get through to the RSPCA to report the incident, but was left on hold for so long that she gave up and called the local vets instead.

She said: “I was on hold for ages and was getting more and more agitated. We have two Chihuahuas and I didn’t want to leave the snake in the garden while they were running around.

“I couldn’t get through to the RSPCA so I phoned the local vets who said that if we could catch it, they would take it in.”

Lisa’s son, Scott, 24, was actually the first member of the family to clap eyes on the snake, and thought he could save the day by capturing it.

Scott said: “I’m a bit of a nature person and thought I’d be able to get hold of it easily, but as I went to pick it up from the wood pile it hissed at me and jumped up as if it wanted to bite me.

“I backed away from it as fast as I could and tore my shirt on a nail on one the pieces of wood.

Pic from Caters News

“It was scary and at that point I thought, ‘nope, this is not for me.’”

When Lisa’s husband, Richard, 48, returned home from work, it was down to him to do the honours, and taking the task in his stride, he managed to gallantly grab the snake by the head and tail, and keep it under control.

Scott said: “The snake was really strong and Dad had to grab it really fast to stop it trying to wrap itself around him.

“He’s very cool, calm and collected in these sorts of situations and luckily he managed to keep everything under control.”

The family then transported the snake to the Old Registry Vets in Scunthorpe.

A spokesperson for the vets said: “When the snake was brought in we identified it as a Taiwanese Beauty Rat Snake.

“It was very agitated and quite stressed out. 

“We don’t usually deal with this sort of animal here and we don’t think it would make an ideal pet snake really; it’s quite fast and the species is known to be wild and pretty aggressive.

“A friend of one of the vets agreed to temporarily foster it as we don’t have the facilities to look after it properly here.

“We have no idea where it came from and nobody has come forward to claim it so far.”

The Taiwanese beauty snake is a species of snake from the Colubridae family and is native to Southeast Asia, specifically Taiwan. 

The snakes can grow up to 6ft in length and can live between 15 and 25 years.

The RSPCA have been contacted for a statement.