A German pensioner got more than she bargained for when she lifted up her toilet seat to find a metre-long (three-foot-long) python staring up at her, police said today.
The 74-year-old from Schwanstetten in southern Germany immediately called the police, who attempted to flush the serpent from its hiding place.
"However, the reptile was in no mood to show itself to the officers so the fire brigade was called in. They opened a manhole in the garden and were able to remove it from the plumbing," a police statement said.
A snake expert was then called in as a reinforcement.
She identified the serpent as a two-year-old royal python, normally not dangerous to humans, and offered to take it home until the owner steps forward.
"Until we have cleared up whom the reptile belongs to, the police have registered it as a lost item," concluded the police statement.