A FIESTY snake proved to be a slippery character when it was apprehended by police.
Jalapeno the cornsnake was captured by two officers at 9.15am on Thursday who were alerted by children screaming.
The slithery reptile was found in Hailesland Grove in Edinburgh where it is believed to have been roaming “freezing” streets for “some time”.
The two officers lured the snake into a kit bag where it was taken to the nearby SSPCA re-homing centre in Balerno.
Staff at the centre chose the name Jalapeno because of his fiery character – striking out at anyone who tries to pick him up.
None of the children were injured and SSPCA said Jalapeno is “lucky to be alive” after being caught in the cold weather.
Enquiries are ongoing to trace his owner, who is asked to come forward.
Lothian and Borders Police Superintendent Dougie Lynch said: “We are used to dealing with a lot of slippery characters but a snake is certainly one of the most difficult captures we’ve had in recent times.
“Thankfully, the officers in attendance proved to be real charmers and the animal was safely caught in a kit bag before being handed over to the SSPCA.”
SSPCA Centre Manager Diane Stewart said: “Jalapeno was very thin and dehydrated on arrival, suggesting he’s been roaming on his own for some time.
“Snakes need heat to survive so he’s lucky to be alive after being found outdoors in freezing temperatures.
“He seems a bit brighter after a night warming up in a vivarium on a heat mat so we hope he’ll continue to improve.”
An SSPCA spokeswoman added: “It’s been through a lot and will now just have time to recover and feed.
“Staff can’t go near it too much right now as Jalapeno has been striking out so the last thing we want to do is stress it out.”
Anyone who recognises Jalapeno should contact our Animal Helpline on 03000 999 999.