A six-foot long Carolina corn snake which has been on the loose for eight months could be hiding in Tesco, its owner says.
Zoë Moore said her 24-year-old snake Doritos could be in close proximity to Tesco in Kingsbridge, Devon, as that’s where his last tracks were seen.
The snake disappeared in August last year and the cause of his escape is thought to be the soaring temperatures in Zoë’s flat.
She called on people to be aware and not be scared of the snake as he is not poisonous and “cats and dogs are more dangerous than him”.
Zoë said: ”He could be in Tesco, maybe in the wall, he could be in the crevice of a building, they can collapse their spines and get into tiny holes.
”When the weather gets warm there is a chance he will emerge and bask in the sunshine.
”It seems like when he left here he made a beeline for the bushes by Tesco car park.
”I have been searching there on my hands and knees, but nothing.
”Doritos is not dangerous, cats and dogs are more dangerous than him.
“He is old with arthritis, he is more like a worm than a snake.”
Zoë said that when she discovered Doritos was missing, she made posters to inform locals, however, unknown members of the public have used those details to contact her with nasty threats.
She said: ”I have been getting messages from unknown numbers threatening me.
”People have said if they find Doritos they will kill him. One person said that if they saw him they will smash his head in.
”People have said they will stamp on him, run him over. Another person said they will get an axe and chop him up. It’s been awful.
”What is so odd, is that he has disappeared without a trace.
”It makes me worry that someone has actually gone through with their threats.”
Speaking to Devon Live last year, Zoë said that the cause of Doritos escape was due to the landlord not fixing a broken window within the flat.
She said: ”The snakes need to live in temperatures of around 24 degrees.
”I wasn’t able open my main window and the painter jammed my top window shut resulting in me having to open the bottom one.
”The flat was around 40 degrees in the day and roughly 35 degrees at night.
”I am doing all that I can to keep it cool, but the soaring temperatures are part of the reason he has left.”
Zoë is urging anyone who may spot the snake not to be afraid.
She said: ”People hear the word ‘snake’ and go into panic thinking it will eat their pets. Corn snakes are not vicious or violent.
”He is 25 this year and he has never even hissed at anyone. He only eats mice.
”If you spot the snake do not be frightened..
”If you are able to capture him gently pick him up in the middle and pop him into a breathable bag, such as a pillow case.
”Do not put him in a plastic bag.
”In an ideal situation if you spot him please contact me straight away so I can get him.”
Following the disappearance of Doritos, a spokesperson for Tesco said: ”No sightings of a snake have been reported to colleagues at our Kingsbridge Superstore, but if it is spotted our store team will be very happy to contact the owner to let them know.”