A PENARTH woman has spoken of her shock after she found a Californian king snake slithering around in her garden.

The RSPCA are now appealing for the owner of the black and yellow snake, thought to be a male and around 20 years old, to come forward.

The Dinas Road resident first saw the snake on Sunday, May 11, before it returned to the garden on Monday morning.

After the family’s pet cat, one-year-old Simba, attempted to bring the snake back to its basket the woman managed to catch the snake with a stick, drop it into a plastic box, and alert the RSPCA.

The RSPCA officer came to collect the reptile and determined that it was not dangerous and was most likely to be an escaped pet.

The woman, who did not want to be named, said that she was shocked when she saw the snake.

“I tried to pick it up with a stick and it started slithering,” she said.

“It poked its tongue out and I managed to stick the stick through its coils, lift it up, and put it in a plastic box until the RSPCA came.”

She added: “If I had not handled a snake before I would have had a heart attack.”

RSPCA chief inspector Elaine Spence said that the king snake had a lucky escape.

“We’ve been out to collect corn snakes and rat snakes before, but this was an unusual one,” she said.

“The snake seems to be comfortable being handled by people though and seems to be in good condition, so we think it is most likely to be an escaped pet.

“If anyone knows whose snake this might be, we would ask them to get in touch so that hopefully we can reunite snake and owner.”

The owners of the snake came forward to collect it on Wednesday, May 21