A SOUTHAMPTON mother has discovered a snake in the middle of the road.

Natalie Hickman was on her way home when she saw a three-foot corn snake lying in Wodehouse Road, Sholing.

On first glance the 22-year-old thought it was a decoration "left over from Halloween".

After closer inspection Natalie realised the snake was real and phoned Southampton Reptile Centre.

Natalie said: "I picked it up to see how big it was. I thought "oh my god" I could not believe it. It had been lying in a puddle.

"I was walking home with my eight-month-old son in his push chair so there was no way I was going to take it home.

The Daily Echo contacted Southampton Reptile Centre, which revealed the snake had been dead for "quite some time" and the snake had probably escaped from its home.

As previously reported a spokesperson from the RSPCA said: "If anyone finds a snake they believe is non-native the RSPCA’s advice is to keep a safe distance, monitor the snake and call the charity’s helpline on 0300 1234 999.

"Exotic pets such as snakes often end up in the RSPCA’s care after people realise they're not easy to care for, or the novelty wears off.

"Others are rescued after they have been abandoned, escaped or been released on purpose, which then could be a risk to our native wildlife."

They added: "Many of the snakes the RSPCA’s officers are called to collect are thought to be escaped pets.

"The RSPCA would always recommend owners invest in an enclosure suitable for the particular species and that the enclosure is kept secure (and locked if necessary) when unattended.

"The animal welfare charity collects more snakes over the summer months. It is possible that some of these are escapees becoming more active in warmer weather."

For more information on what to consider before adopting a snake, visit the RSPCA’s website