A couple were left hiss-terical after finding a 4ft (1.2m) royal python curled up behind their tumble dryer.
It was a case of snakes and larders when the reptile was found in the utility room of their home in Southport, Merseyside.
“I was shocked, it’s not what you expect when you want to do a bit of laundry,” the woman told the RSPCA.
The charity collected the snake and is hoping to find its owner soon – serpently by Christmas.
“I was quite surprised at the size of the snake,” said RSPCA rescue officer David Hatton, who attended the home in Beecham Road on Sunday.
“The fact it is in such good condition makes me suspect it is a pet that has escaped.
“I am not sure how it managed to get into the utility room but it was probably attracted by the warmth from the drier when it was on.”
The couple, who preferred not to be named, had been trying to fix the faulty tumble dryer when the snake was found.
“My husband pulled the drier out and seemed taken aback, and then said ‘there’s a snake here’,” the woman said.
“I thought it would be a small grass snake not a 4ft-long royal python.”
It is currently being looked after by reptile keepers from volunteer group Beastwatch UK.
Spokesman Mike Potts said the species is harmless and a relatively small python, usually growing to about 5ft.