Pet owners are on alert after it emerged a 6ft-long boa constrictor has loose for more than a week.
Bo the boa gave her owner the slip when she slithered out of their garden in Rotherham on August 1 and concerns were yesterday growing the reptile is hungry and on the hunt for a family pet.
The revelation came just days after brothers Connor and Noah Barthe were strangled to death by a 13ft pet python in New Brunswick, Canada.
Reptile lover Corinne Swann, 32, says the sizable pet, who is two-and-half-years-old, was basking in the family garden in South Yorkshire, when she made her successful bid for freedom.
She had been making dinner for her children and husband while Bo relaxed in her usual spot – curled up behind a bush.
Noticing Bo moving Mrs Swann shouted “snake’s on the move” and her daughter picked the boa up and moved it back.
But half-an-hour later she was gone. They think Bo may have escaped through a tight gap between their home and the houses which back on to theirs.
After an hour of frantic searching in both their garden and their neighbours they phoned the police. Police confirmed they are looking into the great snake escape.
Former dinner lady Mrs Swann said the snake gets fed one large rat every Monday, and was near the end of her feeding cycle when she fled.
“Boas are notoriously greedy,” she said. “If she starts to get hungry I am concerned she might go for small animals like rabbits or a cat.
“We have told everyone to keep an eye out for her but she is a big snake so they might get a shock if they spot her.
“They like to hide away which will make her even harder to find.
The mother-of-three lives with her dryliner husband Damion, 32, and their three children – Ellie, 12, eight-year-old Scarlett and Tommy, five.