A man has been sent running in panic after finding a snake in his toilet while his home was being renovated.
The 4ft (1.2m) reptile was discovered by the man at his home in Basildon, Essex, causing him to run upstairs “in a moment of panic,” according to his partner, Naomi Burdett.
The rat snake, which is not venomous and is thought to be an escaped pet, hissed at the man before slithering into the top of the toilet, where it turned slightly blue from the cleaning products used in the cistern.
The couple have named the creature Kevin.
Ms Burdett, the home-owner, said her partner found the snake after hearing a candle fall over.
“He saw the snake, which hissed at him, then backed away into the toilet,” she said. “He ran upstairs in a moment of panic – neither of us are the biggest fans of snakes, and it’s not exactly what you expect to see in your downstairs loo.
“We haven’t had any heating until recently so it must have been really cold for him. We haven’t been staying here during the renovations so I have no idea where he has been living or how long he has been here!
“It’s a really bizarre situation.”
A relative helped contain the snake, which was taken by the RSPCA, who are giving it specialist care.
RSPCA animal collection officer Joe White said: “I’m sure these poor people got quite a shock when they discovered a snake residing in their toilet.
“Rat snakes are kept as pets fairly regularly in this country so I’m sure he’s an escaped pet.”
The snake is being monitored at a local wildlife hospital in case he has ingested any chemicals from the toilet water.
If anyone recognises the snake they can call the RSPCA appeal line on 0300 123 8018.