AN Accrington family were in for a surprise when they discovered a slippery stowaway on their kitchen floor.

Rukhsana Arif, 40, said that her brother’s children had gone into the kitchen in the house on Lister Street to do some cooking, when they discovered the rogue reptile.

The harmless white snow corn snake that feeds on mice and small rodents is believed to be a neighbour’s escaped family pet.

According to Rukhsana it is not the first time the inquisitive serpent has escaped, as it has been spotted before in neighbouring homes.

Rukhsana said: “It’s happened before, the snake has gone into people’s houses.

“It’s been in here, it’s been next door, it was in our kitchen.

“We don’t know how it got there, it was sitting under the fridge.

“Everybody is frightened, I’m scared of mice, never mind snakes.

“The kids can’t sleep at night because they’re so frightened, and they’re scared to go in the kitchen.”

Rukhsana said her neighbour had told them she had a number of exotic pets, and they fear they may be visited by more unwelcome intruders.

She said: “She sits outside the house with them around her neck. She’s got snakes, lizards, all sorts.

“A snake went in our neighbour’s house and she couldn’t find it, she was so scared she had to sit outside her house.

“Everybody in the street is frightened.”

Another neighbour said his wife had found the snake in their mantelpiece around two months ago.

Pinnu Khan, 63, said: “She saw the snake here, and then it was gone, she didn’t know if it was inside or outside.

“She was really scared and she ran away.

“The police came but they couldn’t find the snake.”

The owner of the house where the snake lived said it had been missing for several months after escaping just once.

He said he believed the snake had been on the loose since it was first spotted in his next door neighbour’s mantelpiece.

He added the family now only had dogs.

He said: “It wasn’t even our snake, it came from our house, but my daughter’s ex-girlfriend let it out.

“It had gone and that’s all we’d heard about it until the other night.”

Police confirmed they received a call about the snake on Sunday night, and informed Reptile Rescue who collected the animal.