Search

Giant snake skin found in Islington car garage

08:44 21 May 2014

Garage owner Peter Das-Heffernan left, with office manager James Walls who found the snake skin.

Garage owner Peter Das-Heffernan left, with office manager James Walls who found the snake skin.

Archant

A five foot long snake skin has been discovered in a car garage, just a few miles away from where a colony of the creatures have invaded Regent’s Canal.

A snake skin was found at an Islington garage.A snake skin was found at an Islington garage.

Office manager at J&J Autos in Blundell Street, Holloway, James Walls, said this is the third snake skin he has found at the site in six months.

The skin, which is several inches wide, has not yet been formally identified, but he believes it could belong to an Aesculapian snake, the same as those spotted on the banks of the canal.

The species can grow up to two-metres long, are capable of squeezing cats and small dogs to death and have been placed on a list of invasive species.

The snakes, which are native to Central Europe, have been labelled as a “non-native species of high concern” by the London Invasive Species Initiative (LISI).

Mr Walls said: “I was going to get changed after work and saw this giant skin on the floor by the lockers.

“I asked if anyone else had seen it but they didn’t believe me and thought I’d planted it there for a joke.

“The skin felt really soft. You can see the whole face – even the eyes and it’s all in one piece.”

He said the first snake skin was found in November by the entrance to the garage office, which he thought was a prop used by a photography studio next door.

When another skin was discovered in January, Mr Walls approached their neighbours to ask if it belonged to them but they had no idea where it came from.

This latest skin was spotted at the back of the garage underneath a toolbox.

Mr Walls said there are small splinters coming out of the skin from where the snake must have slithered across the floor.

“We keep hearing movement coming from upstairs where we store things so I looked everywhere but I couldn’t find it,” he said.

The skin is now hanging in the garage.

“Certain people won’t come in to this part of the garage now but most customers don’t mind it.”

Islington vet, Caroline Allen has urged residents not to “panic”.

“People get very scared of snakes because of the stories you hear but there’s no evidence of other animals or people being adversely affected,” she said.

“In my 16 years here I have not come across an incident of a dog being bitten by a snake, so my advice would be not to panic.”

Ms Allen, who is clinical director at Canonbury Vets and is also standing as a Green Party candidate in the European elections, added: “It’s interesting that we’re starting to see a change in the fauna and flora which could be linked to climate change and potentially and how this could affect the species we see.”

Latest Islington News Stories

Fri, 14:20
Sam Parrington of the Pilion Trust at the exhibition in Caledonian Road on Wednesday. Picture: Andy Commons (andycommonsimages.com)

It isn’t just older people who fall on hard times. James Morris finds out about the sad reality of homeless young people in the capital – and how charities like The Pilion Trust and Project One Zero are working in Islington to give them a creative outlet.

Fri, 10:09
Cricket fan: David Pearce (Picture: Ken Mears)

A wheelchair-bound Canonbury pensioner must fork out £450 for a season of matches he cannot attend – or face exclusion from the elite cricket club that runs Lord’s.

Thu, 16:26
Protesters release balloons outside HMP Holloway yesterday (Picture: Jade Jackman)

More than two hundred people lit flares and released balloons outside Holloway Prison in protest against violence towards women in government institutions.

Thu, 11:02
Caledonian ward councillors are calling for HGVs to stop using Copenhagen Street as a shortcut. Picture: Cally Labour

Cement mixing company Cemex has instructed its drivers to comply with the HGV ban in Copenhagen Street, near King’s Cross.

Thu, 08:59
Islington NUT members at a previous demonstration against the academisation plans. Picture: Ken Muller

Islington NUT is holding a public meeting as part of a campaign to defeat the government’s plans for all schools to become academies by 2022.

Wed, 15:51
Islington Boat Club 'Upperdeckers'. Picture: Amanda Corcoran

Islington Boat Club has launched free weekly sessions for over-50s.

Wed, 12:00
Teacher Daire Fitzharris is climbing Mount Everest next year and is preparing by camping on the Brecknock school roof every night this week. Picture: Ken Mears

A good teacher leads by example. Daire Fitzharris, a Year 2 tutor at Brecknock Primary School, realised this as he sought to introduce his pupils to the wonders of camping. So rather than just stand at the front of the class talking about it, he has set them an example – by sleeping on the school’s roof every night this week.

Wed, 09:48
Year nine students from Deptford Green School travelled to Highbury Grove School to understand a different perspective of London. Picture: London Football Journeys

Students from Highbury Grove School met their south London counterparts in a soccer scheme to build bridges between youngsters from different areas of London.

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read news

Competitions

Kindle 7 inch tablet

Are you looking for a brand new gadget to help you stay connected on the go and make that long journey home a bit more entertaining? Look no further. MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Kindle Fire 7” Display Tablets! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Yummy traditional afternoon teas for two

MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Traditional Afternoon Teas for two at a location of your choice! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe