A resident of Malaga's Miraflores de los Ángeles district was startled when a snake appeared inside a bag she had carried into her house. The discarded bag had been left beside a rubbish container and appeared to contain items worth keeping, so she took it home to open it.
The alarmed woman, who was at home with her son, called the Local Police force after closing the door of a bedroom where the snake was located and sealing it with towels.
Officers of the city's nature protection group (Gruprona) of the Local Police force rushed to the scene on Monday and when they entered the room they found a light-cloured snake inside the bag. Fortunately, it was a harmless species known as the California kingsnake. Measuring 1.20 metres in length it was taken to the municipal zoosanitary centre and, the following day, it was handed over to a snake enthusiast in Malaga province.
As the Local Police force explained in a statement, the snake is neither venomous nor dangerous to humans and its usually calm demeanour makes this non-native species attractive as a terrarium pet. Careless releases or escapes are the main cause of its proliferation in some parts of Spain, "representing a serious problem for the environmental ecosystem, as they lack natural enemies and, once they adapt to the environment, they compete with other native species which they displace".
Separately, also on Monday 9 January, Local Police officers from Grupron, together with workers from the animal health centre, rescued a Vietnamese pig in the vicinity of the Finca de la Concepción, which had crossed a road. The Local Police said the exotic pig had approached a barbecue area and entered the finca, where it caused some damage.
Once located, the Vietnamese sow was captured and taken to the municipal zoosanitary Centre, before being handed over to a specialised unit.