A reported snake on a windowsill inside a Fleet, Hampshire, England apartment building turned out to be a children's toy. Photo courtesy of the RSPCA
Feb. 21 (UPI) -- Animal rescuers in Britain said officers responding to separate reports of snakes needing to be removed found the reported reptiles were inanimate objects.
The RSPCA said inspector Jan Edwards responded to a report of a stray snake inside an apartment building Thursday in Fleet, Hampshire.
"The woman spotted the snake in the communal hallway of her block of flats on Tuesday and said it had slithered up the wall. The following day she spotted it on the windowsill and contacted us to say she was worried because it didn't appear to be moving," Edwards said.
The reported snake was still where the woman had spotted it when Edwards arrived.
"I went down to help and, when I arrived, it quickly became clear that it wasn't an escaped pet snake -- but a child's plastic toy. I think someone may have been playing a prank on the poor woman. She had been so frightened that she hadn't left her flat," she said.
Meanwhile, RSPCA animal collection officer Jessica Pierce responded that same day to a home in Manchester, England, where a man reported seeing two snakes in his bedroom.
"The caller said they'd first spotted the large red and black snakes playing in his bedroom but that they'd since disappeared. Our call center staff asked them to ring us back if they spotted the snakes again," Pierce said.
Pierce visited the home when the man called again and he showed her where he had seen the reptiles.
"When I arrived I quickly established that the snakes were in fact a piece of material. We all had a giggle about it; another case of hiss-taken identity," she said.
The "snakes" appeared to be pieces of a worn-out cloth strap.