Alarm as deadly snake Hissing Sid slithers free in Plymouth

Simon Garner
Yahoo! News

A potentially deadly snake is on the loose after evading a police helicopter which was scrambled to track it down.

Residents are on the lookout for a 4ft long constrictor which has been spotted slithering along pavements in Plymouth, Devon.

The reptile was briefly captured by three people who trapped it in a bin - but it is so strong it forced its way out and vanished up a drainpipe.

A police helicopter was even diverted to scour the area on Saturday but the snake - nicknamed 'Hissing Sid' by locals - is still at large.

Therapist Barnard Brotherton, 53, was one of three residents who captured the creature in a knee-high swing bin last Thursday before it gave them the slip.

He said: "It seemed like the sensible thing to do but it was so strong it would wrap itself around the rim of the lid and squeeze itself through thee top like toothpaste.

"We got it in about three times but even with six hands pushing down on the lid it was too powerful.

"It was getting angry so we backed off, and at that point it decided to pop up the drainpipe."

Vets, environmental health experts, the police and the RSPCA and a local animal have all been on the scene over the weekend but the snake has not been seen since Saturday.

Mr Brotherton managed to get a picture of the snake on his mobile phone and experts believe it is a snake of foreign origin and probably a constrictor.

Devon and Cornwall Police said PCSOs had carried out house-to-house enquiries in the Keyham area but nobody had owned up to being Sid’s owner.

Mr Brotherton added: "If it is a constrictor, like they thing it is, it is worrying. There are young children around here and it could do them some harm.

"It could slide under some slates and into somebody’s loft or maybe down a chimney.

"Or it could be miles away by now. It probably wants a nice quiet life away from all this publicity.

"It wasn’t being aggressive until towards the end of our struggle but I’d still rather know where it is."

Devon and Cornwall Police said its force helicopter was diverted to the scene while on its way to another job.

Police have urged people to call them if they spot the snake.