IT has been just over four years since a snake was spotted and captured in Weston's town centre.

The snake was spotted in August 2019 on the pavement in Oxford Street by a member of the public, who called the RSPCA for help.

The RSPCA appealed for information to help reunite the 60cm reptile with its owner.

Speaking at the time, RSPCA inspector, Hayley Lawrence, said: "We're keen to find out where the snake has come from, and if possible reunite it with an owner.

"As there is a possibility this snake has escaped from someone's home, it is a good reminder to snake owners to ensure their animals' accommodation is secure.

"Snakes are not only good escape artists, they, like other exotic pets, are completely reliant on their owners to meet their welfare needs and so can be challenging to care for.

"Anyone thinking of taking on that responsibility needs to thoroughly research what it entails before deciding to commit to getting one."

The corn snake was in fine health and bodily condition when rescued and was taken to an RSPCA centre.

Speaking in 2019, an RSPCA spokesperson said: "We urge prospective owners of reptiles, such as snakes, to thoroughly research the needs of the particular species and what is required in the care of the animal, using expert sources.

"People should only consider keeping a snake if they can ensure they are fully able to provide for these needs.

"The needs of reptiles can be challenging to meet because they are just the same as they would be in the wild and are fundamentally linked to certain behaviours, diets or environmental conditions which can be difficult to replicate in a domestic environment.

"It is important for owners to ensure they can give their animal the environment it needs and they have the facilities, time, financial means and long-term commitment to maintain a good standard of care, as required under the Animal Welfare Act 2006."

Hayley added: "Sadly, reptiles often end up in the RSPCA's care after people realise they're not easy to care for or once the novelty wears off.

"Others are rescued after they have been abandoned, escaped or been released on purpose, which then could be a risk to our native wildlife."