Feb. 27 (UPI) -- Animal rescuers in Britain are attempting to locate the owner of a non-native snake found slithering through a garden.
The RSPCA said a surprised resident put a box over the red and white snake when it was spotted in a garden in Margate, England, and RSPCA Inspector Grace Harris-Bridge was dispatched to collect the reptile.
Harris-Bridge took the serpent to an exotic animal center, where it was confirmed to be a 3-foot milk snake, native to the Americas.
"Unfortunately, it isn't clear what has happened and how the snake came to be in this garden," Harris-Bridge said. "The caller had recently moved into the house and said they had found a peat-like substance under the stairs which is a material commonly used as bedding for reptiles."
"Then they found the snake in the garden but had no idea how long it had been there. The snake is in a good condition but a little cold from being outside and not in the right environment," the inspector said.
She said the RSPCA is working to determine whether the snake was abandoned by a previous resident of the home or if it escaped from a different location.
"Reptiles are quite complex pets to keep. They are completely reliant on their owners to meet their welfare needs, which include the need to be provided with the correct levels of heat, light and humidity, plus an appropriate diet for the particular species," she said.
The RSPCA said the snake will be rehomed if no owner can be located.