6-foot snake in London home was actually a 2-inch caterpillar

Krista Yin

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals received an unexpected surprise after being called to a home to retrieve a large snake.

RSPCA animal collection officer Monica Faloona rushed to the home in the Dartford area after receiving a frantic call about a large snake, but discovered the intruder was merely a caterpillar.

"This poor person was clearly beside themselves with fear and stayed upstairs and wouldn't come down at all. I went out to the garden unsure what kind of snake I would find," Faloona said. "But I was a little surprised to see a very tiny box placed over what was meant to be a 2-meter (6-foot) long snake."

She lifted the box to discover a tiny Elephant Hawk Moth caterpillar, a far cry from the monstrous snake she was expecting.

"They are obviously much larger than your usual caterpillar, but I don't think we'll ever find one two meters long -- and a very unusual metamorphosis!" Faloona.

Faloona attempted to assure the caller the caterpillar wouldn't do any harm, but ultimately wind up finding it a new home.

"Even when I explained to the caller that it was just a caterpillar they were still very traumatised and scared, so I decided the best thing to do was to remove the little fella and release him at another location," she said.



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