The Scottish SPCA has said a snake witnessed in an Inverness park may be a domestic pet that has escaped.
After a mum raised the alarm on Monday evening, the Scottish SPCA said it was unlikely to be an exotic animal or meaning to cause harm.
The mum, who did not want to be named, described the snake as “big” and said it had hissed at her son. She warned other parents and children to be careful in the area around Locheil Road in the city.
Scottish SPCA chief superintendent, Mike Flynn, said: “We received a report to our helpline yesterday evening of a snake sighting at Milton Pitches.
“Adders are the only venomous snake in the UK. Females can grow up to 750mm and males are normally slightly smaller.
“Adders are not aggressive snakes and only tend to use their venom as a last resort, for example if they are stepped on or cornered.
“If anyone does come across an adder while out walking we’d simply advise them to give the snake plenty of space and leave it alone.
Snake likely to be a domestic pet
He continued: “Adders come out of hibernation in spring so it would be unusual for one to be active at this time of year, and it could be that the snake spotted last night is a domestic pet.
“Pet snakes are somewhat notorious for being escape artists and can find tiny spaces in their enclosure to squeeze through.
“Encountering an exotic snake is highly unusual.
“If anyone does come across a non-native snake then they should not approach it and contact our animal helpline immediately on 03000 999 999.”