The snake, a ball python, was taken away by the fire brigade. File photo: Batwrangler/Flickr
Residents at an apartment block in Avignon, southern France, no doubt got a nasty shock after finding a python in their lobby.
The snake, a python regius, measured just 30 centimetres (just shy of 12 inches) in length, but the species can grow up to around 1.8 metres.
Concerned residents called the fire brigade, and emergency officers were soon on the scene, transporting the reptile to the La Barben zoo in Salon-de-Provence.
Coralie Lacroix, the head of the zoo, said the snake was likely abandoned by its previous owners.
“Summer is often the time when we see the most cases of abandonment, it's the same for dogs and cats,” she told the La Provence newspaper on Wednesday.
She added that the regius python was a popular pet in France due to the fact that they are non-venemous and submissive.
“People unfortunately tend to abandon them because the owners get bored with them, especially considering there's no emotional connection like there is with a more traditional kind of pet,” she added.
The snake is currently under quarantine, but will likely soon call the Barben Zoo home.
The python regius is also known as a “ball python” for its tendency to roll itself into a ball when threatened. Examples are more typically spotted in West Africa than in French apartment blocks.