A pet snake which slipped away from its owner and headed down a drain has been captured in a pillowcase.
The 6ft (1.8m) non-venomous northern pine snake, was seen slithering around Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk on Sunday, before heading for the drain.
Residents could not contact the RSPCA so the snake remained on the loose.
It was spotted on Monday trying to wrap itself around the exhaust pipe on a postman’s van and eventually returned to its owner.
The female constrictor was photographed by Steve Biggs, who spotted it on a street in the Howard estate area of the town at about 19:30 BST on Sunday.
“We thought it might be an adder so didn’t want to get too near the bitey end, but then it went down into the drain and disappeared,” he said.
Despite his best efforts to knock on people’s doors in case they had lost a pet, “no-one wanted to claim the snake and we didn’t think anyone would have an adder as a pet anyway,” he said.
They could not get through to the local RSPCA branch and police told them to “leave it alone”, he said.
The RSPCA said anyone in a similar situation should call its 24-hour cruelty line if local offices have closed.
However, the snake reappeared on Monday and was spotted by carpenter Liam Hayes.
“I ran home to grab a pillowcase as that’s the best way of calming them down,” he said.
“When I got back it was under the postman’s van trying to wrap itself around the exhaust.”
Having safely extricated it, Mr Hayes wrote on Facebook: “Do not fear people of the Howard.
“I have rescued this beautiful pine snake and have sourced the owner.
“Beautiful snake – he got a bit snappy trying to catch him but he was long enough to not get striked at.”
It has now been returned safely to its owner who “works nights and didn’t realise it was missing until today”, he added.