A SLIPPERY character is at large in Bromley but rattled neighbours are being warned not to get too hissterical.

Households in Bishops Avenue adder shock earlier this week when they spotted a 4ft snake slithering along the road.

Police and the RSPCA were called but they needed to contact an expert to shed light on what kind of species it was and more importantly, if it was dangerous.

News Shopper: Snake on the loose leaves neighbours in a tangle

Snake handler Samantha May, who was contacted by police, told families not to panic as it was simply a harmless corn snake, rather than a python as one neighbour feared.

After seeing a photo captured on a mobile phone, she said: “It’s definitely a corn snake.

“They’re not dangerous and non-venomous. They like to be handled.

“It could have been let out by someone who didn’t want it or it could have escaped."

It was not the first sighting, and residents believe it has taken refuge under a shed.

Mum-of-two Dale Hough, who lives in Bishops Avenue, said: “It’s been here for about two weeks now and it’s still at large.

“I’ve never seen anything quite like it. It’s really quite amazing.

“We think it’s probably someone’s pet that has escaped."

The 60-year-old added: “Residents are reassured it’s not dangerous.

“My neighbour spotted it when he was walking with his two young children. They were absolutely petrified.

“Someone thought it could be a python because it had a big mouth.

“We think it probably went to ground beneath a shed.”

News Shopper: Snake on the loose leaves neighbours in a tangle

Mrs May, who breeds snakes, also said family pets would not be in any danger.

She said: “It wouldn’t cause any harm to pets.

“If it came across a cat, a cat would probably do more damage.”

She added: "I’ve had a few cornsnakes that get out - they’re good at pushing the glass roof out of their tank.

“If they spot it you can literally pick it up and put it in a box.

“Wear a pair of gardening gloves and even if it was to bite you wouldn’t feel anything.”

If anyone spots the snake - call the newsroom on 01689 885711.