Snake on the loose in Fitzwilliam

And not the human kind, Violet News Correspondent Sneha Lala discovers

Sneha Lala

Not the only snake in Cambridge groundsLaura Dyer

A snake in the grass has been spotted at Fitzwilliam College. No, not the mate who decided they couldn’t come to Life at the last minute because of ‘exams’ when they’re a Hisstory Fresher – a slippery serpent itself.

“From personal experience, this does not wash off!”

Stuart Douglas, Fitzwilliam Head Porter

Sightings of the reptile in the gardens of Fitzwilliam have been posted on its social media accounts to alert students. Fear not, though, the snake is less dangerous than the human kind you get in Cambridge.

The Head Porter, Stuart Douglas, sent a mass email to reassure college members about the non-venomous common grass snake (natrix natrix).

“They will not bite and pose no threat to anyone,” he confirmed.

Fitzwilliam took to Facebook to reassure studentsFacebook/FitzWilliam College

Students were warned, however, the only defence for the 2.5ft-long snakes is producing a garlic-smelling fluid from the anal glands.


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“If you see one, please, leave it alone and do not attempt to harm it or pick it up.” Douglas urged Fitz students.

“They have a defence mechanism which will involve any potential attacker being sprayed with a foul-smelling liquid from the snake’s rear end! From personal experience, this does not wash off!”

Protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, These snakes are also prone to performing an aggressive display in defence, hissing and striking without opening the mouth.

Nearby Murray Edwards residents, beware