Residents have been left horrified and scared after news that a pet owner's 8ft snake has escaped from their home and is now missing in the area.

Pet owner Michelle Brunton from Taunton Square in Thorney Close, Sunderland, confirmed her giant carpet python escaped from her home last night (September 19).

Michelle described the 8ft python as a 'rather large' snake as terrified residents flooded the comments expressing their fear of the animal and questioning how it got loose.

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The Northern Echo: Stock image of a carpet python.Stock image of a carpet python. (Image: PIXABAY)

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The type of python is commonly found in Australia and can grow up to around 13ft in size, and is known as a popular pet amongst snake enthusiasts.

In the past, incidents of pythons eating small cats and dogs have been reported.

The RSPCA has issued advice to anyone who may come across the escaped pet.

An RSPCA spokesperson said: “The RSPCA advises anyone who sees the snake to keep a safe distance, monitor the animal and call the charity’s helpline on 0300 1234 999 or a local reptile charity will also be able to help.

“Many of the snakes our officers deal with are thought to be escaped pets. Snakes are excellent escape artists and will take the opportunity of a gap in an enclosure door, or a loose-fitting lid to make a break for it. 

“We urge all pet snake owners to be extra vigilant, invest in an enclosure suitable for the particular species and make sure that enclosure is kept secure - and locked if necessary - when unattended.”