A boa constrictor is on the loose in Portsmouth after it was dumped by a man who reportedly had it wrapped around his neck.
It is believed the snake-wearing man unceremoniously threw the creature into a nearby hedge after being refused a ride in a taxi because of his exotic pet.
Steve McGovern, a landscape gardener who tends to the shrubbery around Furze Lane, Milton, told Portsmouth News: "All I got told was a man got picked up by a taxi and he had a snake wrapped around his neck.
"The taxi driver said ‘there’s no way, you are getting in here with that’ so he threw it in the hedge so he could still get in the taxi.
“It then drove him to wherever he was going. I don’t know what to make of it.”
Police and firefighters are now frantically hunting for the boa, with its disappearance coming just days after two children were strangled to death by a 14ft python in Canada.
A Hampshire Constabulary spokesman has said it is believed the snake may be in the hedgerow of nearby student halls.
Security staff at the student accommodation have seen the funny side of the situation – already nicknaming the animal Bernard the Boa.
If you spot the missing snake, contact the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999.