A POLICE officer has removed a two-metre long ‘bastard snake’ discovered on the patio of a resident in Bigastro, near Orihuela on Spain’s Costa Blanca.
Policia Local officer Efren Pamies braced himself for a potentially tricky encounter, but fortunately the reptile was a non-dangerous breed known locally as a ‘culebra bastarda’ (Malpolon monspessulanus).
The breed is common in the Vega Baja area of Alicante, and right across the Mediterranean shoreline of Spain.
The snake enjoys hilly areas, as well as venturing into towns and villages, like in the case of Bigastro.
Efren knew his snakes and that he would be safe, even though the bastard snake can release some venom in biting, which fortunately has no poison in it.
The officer brought a sack with him and put the snake in it, though he took time out for a quick photo to be taken that was later posted on the Bigastro Policia Local Facebook page.
The reptile was then released to carry on enjoying life in a more appropriate rural part of the area.
The bastard snake, known in English as a Montpellier snake, is rated as ‘Least Concern’ according to the IUCN’s red list of endangered species
Although it is venomous, there exist very few recorded cases of envenomation, one of which occurred when a finger was inserted into the snake’s mouth.