5ft long California Kingsnake lost in Southampton Reptile Centre for six months

Daily Echo: Sammy the Californian kingsnake in his tank. Sammy the Californian kingsnake in his tank.

An escaped snake could leave some people hiss-terical.

But it is a reality for Allison and Darren Cotton after their beloved pet snake Sammy went missing in a Southampton pet shop six months ago.

Mrs Cotton, 48, from Cheriton Avenue, Harefield, said the couple left the California Kingsnake in the care of the Southampton Reptile Centre before jetting off to Tenerife for a holiday last September.

However, they were left stunned when staff informed them that their 5ft long pet had escaped from its tank while they were away.

Mrs Cotton says both staff and family members have since carried out searches of the store, in Deacon Road, Merry Oak, but 12-year-old Sammy has not been found.

Despite reassurances from staff that the brown and cream striped snake would not have left the premises, Mrs Cotton now fears Sammy could have escaped the shop or may have been taken.

Mrs Cotton claims she was told a member of staff left the tank open.

She told the Daily Echo: “They said they would offer me another snake but we’ve had it a long time. “

They kept saying it’s in the shop and hasn’t got out. “They are saying he got out at night. If he’s out there and someone has got him I am hoping they will come forward.

“I’ve had him since he was a baby and he’s part of the family.”

Mrs Cotton said Sammy is usually left at home when she goes on holiday – but the couple took him to the store as they were having their bathroom refitted.

An employee at the Southampton Reptile Centre refused to give his name but confirmed the snake had escaped from the tank.

He added the situation was regrettable and staff are confident the snake is hibernating through the prolonged cold period and is still in the store.

Snake expert James Grant, assistant manager at Grange Reptiles in Woodhouse Lane, Botley, said it was unlikely the snake would survive in the wild.

He said: “I have known, through customers, that snakes have got out of the house and been found in the garden.

“I doubt it would survive in the wild.

“If it’s loose in a house running with temperatures of 20C, they can go through a brumation period of time – not a full-scale hibernation.

“In the cold they are a little bit docile.

“If it’s an adult and they are well fed, they would be fine to go for a year without food.

“It can stay in hibernation longer than usual during prolonged cold spells.”

Comments (17)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

12:05pm Tue 19 Mar 13

OSPREYSAINT says...

Fangs for the memory.
Fangs for the memory. OSPREYSAINT
  • Score: 0

12:20pm Tue 19 Mar 13

Aisha1 says...

Must have been a lot of Hissssteria
Must have been a lot of Hissssteria Aisha1
  • Score: 0

1:52pm Tue 19 Mar 13

Maine Lobster says...

Blame an official. Probably a Civil Serpent!
Blame an official. Probably a Civil Serpent! Maine Lobster
  • Score: 0

2:01pm Tue 19 Mar 13

bigfella777 says...

Anyone who thinks a snake is part of there family really does have some issues.
Anyone who thinks a snake is part of there family really does have some issues. bigfella777
  • Score: -1

2:18pm Tue 19 Mar 13

Linesman says...

bigfella777 wrote:
Anyone who thinks a snake is part of there family really does have some issues.
Strange! That's what your mother-in-law said.
[quote][p][bold]bigfella777[/bold] wrote: Anyone who thinks a snake is part of there family really does have some issues.[/p][/quote]Strange! That's what your mother-in-law said. Linesman
  • Score: 0

2:19pm Tue 19 Mar 13

Subject48 says...

snap
snap Subject48
  • Score: 0

2:24pm Tue 19 Mar 13

Lockssmart says...

Looks like Mickey's mum out of the film Snatch
Looks like Mickey's mum out of the film Snatch Lockssmart
  • Score: 0

2:40pm Tue 19 Mar 13

bobbyboy says...

Just another slippery customer
Just another slippery customer bobbyboy
  • Score: 0

2:55pm Tue 19 Mar 13

CharlieOxbridge says...

Owning exotic animals & jetting off on holidays to Tenerife whilst living on a council estate, not a bad life that.
Owning exotic animals & jetting off on holidays to Tenerife whilst living on a council estate, not a bad life that. CharlieOxbridge
  • Score: 0

4:25pm Tue 19 Mar 13

Inform Al says...

CharlieOxbridge wrote:
Owning exotic animals & jetting off on holidays to Tenerife whilst living on a council estate, not a bad life that.
Apart from the fact that these people may have purchased their home, ordinary decent folk see no harm in people bettering themselves. Get a life.
[quote][p][bold]CharlieOxbridge[/bold] wrote: Owning exotic animals & jetting off on holidays to Tenerife whilst living on a council estate, not a bad life that.[/p][/quote]Apart from the fact that these people may have purchased their home, ordinary decent folk see no harm in people bettering themselves. Get a life. Inform Al
  • Score: 0

7:05pm Tue 19 Mar 13

bigal007 says...

Linesman wrote:
bigfella777 wrote:
Anyone who thinks a snake is part of there family really does have some issues.
Strange! That's what your mother-in-law said.
lol very good
[quote][p][bold]Linesman[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]bigfella777[/bold] wrote: Anyone who thinks a snake is part of there family really does have some issues.[/p][/quote]Strange! That's what your mother-in-law said.[/p][/quote]lol very good bigal007
  • Score: 0

7:06pm Tue 19 Mar 13

bigal007 says...

Lockssmart wrote:
Looks like Mickey's mum out of the film Snatch
dooooooogggggg
[quote][p][bold]Lockssmart[/bold] wrote: Looks like Mickey's mum out of the film Snatch[/p][/quote]dooooooogggggg bigal007
  • Score: 0

7:08pm Tue 19 Mar 13

OSPREYSAINT says...

As Gracie Fields would sing "It's the Biggest Asp Disaster In The World".
As Gracie Fields would sing "It's the Biggest Asp Disaster In The World". OSPREYSAINT
  • Score: 0

8:22pm Tue 19 Mar 13

Harefield boy says...

bigal007 wrote:
Lockssmart wrote:
Looks like Mickey's mum out of the film Snatch
dooooooogggggg
bigal007 you are a real tough cookie!!
Are you sat in your room typing crap on the net?
Sssssshhhh your mum might hear you!!
Bet she looks like Mickey;s mums snatch!!
Great this aint it insulting people anonymously.
[quote][p][bold]bigal007[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Lockssmart[/bold] wrote: Looks like Mickey's mum out of the film Snatch[/p][/quote]dooooooogggggg[/p][/quote]bigal007 you are a real tough cookie!! Are you sat in your room typing crap on the net? Sssssshhhh your mum might hear you!! Bet she looks like Mickey;s mums snatch!! Great this aint it insulting people anonymously. Harefield boy
  • Score: 0

9:42pm Tue 19 Mar 13

IronLady2010 says...

The guys at this Reptile Centre are superb! I'm sure this snake will turn up and be re-united with its family.
The guys at this Reptile Centre are superb! I'm sure this snake will turn up and be re-united with its family. IronLady2010
  • Score: 0

12:22am Sun 24 Mar 13

hello there says...

apparently a neighbour next to the shop found a dead snake in there garden a few months back.
apparently a neighbour next to the shop found a dead snake in there garden a few months back. hello there
  • Score: 0

12:25am Sun 24 Mar 13

hello there says...

hello there wrote:
apparently a neighbour next to the shop found a dead snake in there garden a few months back.
im srry fo you loss if it was the one you lost
[quote][p][bold]hello there[/bold] wrote: apparently a neighbour next to the shop found a dead snake in there garden a few months back.[/p][/quote]im srry fo you loss if it was the one you lost hello there
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree