A quick-witted employee at a water treatment centre in Lincoln enjoyed an unexpected surprise at work as he rescued a snake which was about to fall into a sewage tank.
The grass snake had curled itself around a bar on a screen used to filter large objects out of the sewage at Canwick Water Recycling Centre.
Works Technician Ian Short spotted the rogue reptile and hooked it out before it fell in.
He said: “I’ve never seen anything like it at the works before. I was just passing by and spotted him clinging to a bar. He could have come in through a sewer pipe, or he may have may have just been slithering past and slipped in.
“I’ve got a pole with a hook on I use to get large objects out so I hooked him out with that and put him in a net, then I released him in the grass and off he went.
“If he’d gone through the screen then that would have been the end of him for sure.”
Anglian Water biodiversity scientist Mike Drew said: “We get lots of wildlife in our water recycling works, but grass snakes are very secretive and seldom seen.
“This one had a lucky escape, if Ian hadn’t acted quickly to rescue him then he would fallen in the treatment tank and would probably not have survived. They can excrete an extremely unpleasant smelling substance as a defence mechanism when they’re frightened, so it sounds like Ian had a lucky escape as well.
“Grass snakes like to eat fish and frogs so it could have heard water and was looking for something to eat. They are often seen near rivers and lakes and sometimes even in garden ponds – but don’t worry, they are non-venemous and completely harmless to humans.”
It’s not the first time this month that an unexpected snake has made headlines. On April 7, one Lincoln couple got a bit of a fright when a corn snake slithered out from behind the driver’s seat of a van they had hired.