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Police use chopper in snake search

July 31, 2012 at 2:55 PM

PLYMOUTH, England, July 31 (UPI) -- Authorities in Britain said a police helicopter with a thermal imaging camera attempted to locate a 4-foot snake that eluded capture.

Police in Plymouth, England, said the snake, believed to be a boa constrictor, was spotted slithering on a busy street last week and three locals managed to trap it in a trash bin, but it forced its way out before animal authorities could retrieve it, The Sun reported Tuesday.

"We got it in the bin about three times but even with six hands pushing on the lid it was too powerful. It was getting angry so we backed off," said resident Bernard Brotherton, 53.

Police said they used a helicopter with a thermal imaging camera in an attempt to locate the reptile, which is believed to have been a pet that was set free by an owner who could not keep it.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals urged residents to be cautious if they spot the non-venomous snake.

"Snakes of that type are usually docile but we'd encourage people not to handle it," RSPCA representative Jo Barr said.

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