Garry the snake ‘adder’ terrible ordeal tangled up in netting

Gary the grass snake being released from the netting at Quarrington Vets
Gary the grass snake being released from the netting at Quarrington Vets

Staff at Quarrington Vets are used to treating slippery customers and exotic pets - but this harmless native snake named ‘Garry’ was a surprise patient.

The grass snake was brought into the London Road practice by a caring resident after being found tangled in garden netting.

Nursing assistant Lucy Steele said: “When we first released him from the netting, he was looking quite sorry for himself - but was thankfully uninjured. We haven’t had any grass snakes at the practice for quite some time.”

After being warmed up and given some treatment and rest, staff released Garry back to the wild - but he was not able to enjoy a meal before he left.

Lucy explained: “Normally with wild animals we like to see them eat before leaving our care, but unlike pet snakes that eat dead food, wild snakes only eat live food, so we were unable to do this.”

The practice says netting can be a hazard for grass snakes and wildlife in general.

“The sort he was caught up in is often used on allotments and vegetable patches to keep birds from eating produce,” said Lucy, “If you use netting please check it regularly to make sure Garry or any other wildlife is not caught up in it. If not found, it could be a horrible, prolonged death for them.”

Often confused with the rarely-seen venomous adder, grass snakes are more slender and have round pupils instead of vertical slits seen in adders.