Hunt for escaped python in Kirkcaldy

An appeal has been made to help find a missing snake which escaped in Kirkcaldy.

River in her tank.
River in her tank.

River, a 5 ft 5 Royal Ball Python went missing on Wednesday, September 5 in the Seafield area of Kirkcaldy.

Owner Kevin Hopkins is asking for the public’s help as he looks to get the snake back into her secure tank.

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He was in the process of moving house when he noticed the non-venomous constrictor had gone.


“I think I think when I’ve been moving stuff I might have knocked the latch on her tank, and she’s managed to prise the door open because they’re quite inquisitive.

“A royal ball python is quite timid, it wouldn’t harm anyone unless you posed a threat to it.

“She’s non-venomous but she’s a constrictor. She’s completely harmless, she’ll even sit next to me when I sit watching Netflix or something. She’s not dangerous in the slightest.

Kevin has launched a Facebook appeal to help bring River home, and he’s already had a lot of support, but there have been a few negative responses.

“I think most people are more scared of snakes. I had a woman contact me on Facebook saying she lives close by and was asking if it would eat her children when they were sleeping.

“She’s 5 foot 5. That seems quite small to me, but other people think ‘5 foot 5 - oh my god!’.

“She’ll be looking for heat so wherever she is it’ll be warm.

“She eats frozen mice, bought from a petshop. I left somne out for her but you can’t leave them out too long or it smells.

“I need to hand back the keys for this house on Monday. I don’t think she’s in this house at all though, I think she’s definitely left.

“I’ve even knocked some of the plasterboard walls down and had to get them re-plastered. I’ve been up to the loft and ripped the insulation out but she’s nowhere to be seen.

“I’ve had her about six months, I rehomed her from a friend who didn’t have time for her.”

If anyone comes across River Kevin has advice.

“Just contact me via Facebook. The post has been shared over 900 times. People have been getting in touch offering to help look, and some snake experts have given me some advice.

Scottish SPCA Chief Superintendent Mike Flynn said members of the public can also contact them.

He said: “Snakes are excellent escape artists so it is important owners ensure their vivariums are completely secure.

“If a vivarium doesn’t already have a lock on it, we would recommend having one fitted.

“Snakes need heat and can’t survive for long outside in the cold.

“However, it is possible a snake would manage to survive for a long time inside a wall cavity, provided it is able to feed and there is a source of heat.”

“Anyone who comes across this snake can contact our Animal Helpline on 03000 999 999.”

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