A Helsinki resident was in for a rude awakening on Monday morning after a close encounter with a royal python in their bathroom.
The reptile, also known as a ball python, was curled up on the bathroom floor of the home in Pohjois-Haaga. It had probably made its way there through the drains, animal rescuers said.
The young snake was less than 50 centimetres long. Adult royal python snakes can reach a maximum length of about 1.82 metres.
Helsinki emergency services’ animal rescue unit told Yle that it received a call about the unexpected visitor around 4.30am.
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Responders used a pair of tongs and a bucket to pick up the youngster. They initially took it to Helsinki’s Korkeasaari Zoo, but it was later transferred to the Helsinki Humane Society’s lost animal shelter in Viikki, as it appeared to be a pet.
The animal rescue team told Yle that the shelter had apparently been in contact with someone who was likely the snake’s owner.
Korkeasaari curator Ville Vepsäläinen said that ball pythons are commonly kept as pets. He told news agency STT that the zoo could not keep the young intruder because it does not care for pets.
The story was first reported by tabloid Ilta-Sanomat.