An Irish family in North West London got the shock of their lives when they found a huge snake in their garage on Monday. Unsure if it was venomous or not, Donna and Michael Sheehan wanted rid of the reptile but did not want any harm to come to it.
When Michael transported it to nearby Gladstone Park, Donna stayed with it to keep an eye on it. The snake would become quite the attraction in a usually quiet park as the snake aroused some curiosity from passers-by who would all get to hold it once wildlife services had confirmed it was harmless.
Donna Sheehan told The Irish World on Monday it had been a ‘crazy day’.
“The snake was actually in our garage last night,” said Donna. “My husband found it and it wrapped around my son’s bike. When my husband had a closer look, it scarpered into a corner.
“I said to Michael last night, ‘You are not going to work tomorrow. You’re going to empty that garage until that snake has gone’.
“In the meantime we phoned the RSPCA who said, ‘Can you identify it and see if it’s native?’ We didn’t even know what that meant.
“The morning came. Michael started clearing out the garage. I took my daughter to school and I got back and he said, ‘I found it’.”
Michael had taken the snake to Gladstone Park which had got it out of the garage but created another problem. #
“I said, ‘Right, we can’t leave it there because it could be venomous. It might attack a dog or a child’.
“I had to watch the snake and make sure it didn’t go anywhere. I didn’t know if it was dangerous or not.”
Donna would try many times but not have much luck getting any assistance. Although she was keeping an eye on the snake from early in the morning, it would be the afternoon before anyone came to help.
“I rang the RSPCA first. They wouldn’t come out. I rang Exotic Pets Vets. They wouldn’t come out. They told me to ring the police. I rang the police. They wouldn’t come out. I then rang Brent Council. The park warden did come up.
“I was really stuck. I didn’t know what to do with it. Nobody was helping.
“This is after an hour and a half on my own. By this time, I had tears coming out of my eyes. I just thought, ‘I can’t leave the snake because it could attack someone’.
“I just thought, ‘If I leave it something bad could happen here’. I couldn’t leave it. For the snake’s sake as well.
“By this time there was about eight people all just fascinated. They were all taking pictures and he occasionally put his head. He is actually a beautiful looking snake but we were all really scared.”
Donna says a lady named Rachael from Pine Tree Animal Rescue came to the rescue.
“Rachel turned up at 2.45pm. She knew it wasn’t dangerous. She said it was a royal python and: ‘It wouldn’t have harmed you at all’. Everyone was having a go, holding it. He was like a celebrity. All these people were turning up, ‘Can I hold it? Can I hold it?’
“It was actually a really friendly snake. It was being held and stroked.
“It was a lovely day in the end. Everyone got to hold it. Not me, I wouldn’t go near it.”
Donna is also pleased with how tidy her garage is now but thinks that might still be a snake in her house somewhere, joking, “My garage is much better than it was before the snake came. The snake is in my child’s bedroom now. I’m going to say to my kids, ‘Tidy your bedroom and find that snake’.”
The community is now raising funds for a donation for Pine Tree Animal Rescue who are funded solely by donations. You can donate by clicking here.