An ESCAPED snake had to be rescued from a roof.

An eagle-eyed pedestrian spotted the serpent in Market Street on Wednesday afternoon and called the police to report it.

Officers from Hertfordshire Constabulary contacted the RSCPA to make sure that the animal was safely retrieved.

By the time animal collection officer Peter Warne was on the scene, the snake had slithered to the chimney stack as it is the warmest part of the roof.

Officer Warne then had to call Hertfordshire County Council Fire and Rescue Service for help to get to the area safely.

Station Commander for Watford and Three Rivers Jim Moran was on hand with Green Watch to assist.

He said: “We were called to help with the rescue of the snake as it had got to a hard to climb area.

“Nobody in the crew was afraid of snakes and he was caught safely.”

The mission to recapture the reptile brought traffic in the town centre to a holt for 20 to 30 minutes to set up the aerial platform.

The four-foot Taiwan Beauty Snake was caught without a hitch and has since been returned to its owner.

Although this breed of the species is from Asia, they are commonly kept as pets in the UK.

They are non-venomous and can grow up to eight feet long.

Guides advise keeping this type of snake in an enclosure which provides two different temperatures in the same cage in order for them to survive comfortably.

It is thought that it snuck out of its aquarium and slithered out of a window and along the rooftops before it was spotted.

Cllr Terry Hone, responsible for community safety at Hertfordshire County Council said: “We are happy to assist in animal rescues when we are available and able to do so.

“Our firefighters have the training and the specialist equipment and sometimes we are the only organisation who can safely rescue animals.

“These calls can also provide real life training opportunities, giving firefighters a chance to use specialist equipment to carry out rescues.

“However, our crews will always prioritise incidents which involve any risk to humans.”