Experts say adder sightings are mistaken

A SNAKE expert has today urged people not to panic following three reported sightings of adders in the area.

A SNAKE expert has today urged people not to panic following three reported sightings of adders in the area.

John Baker from Suffolk Wildlife Trust said that although people are convinced they have seen adders, more than 90 per cent of the time, it turns out to be something else.

Wildlife experts were left baffled after it was discovered an adder bit Springer Spaniel Bailey as he rooted around in undergrowth in Chantry Park. After park rangers saw the snake for themselves, a temporary fence was put up around the shrub land where the adder was hiding. It has now been removed to a safe location in Suffolk heathland.

Two more potential adder sightings have also been reported; one in Stowmarket, and the other in a garden near Chantry Park.

Mr Baker said: “Roughly 90 per cent of these 'adder' sightings turn out to be something else. People can be convinced they have seen an adder but when I see pictures they have taken, it turns out to be a grass snake.

“I wouldn't have thought it was anything to do with global warming because the snake has got to get there from a natural population. It could be there are some on the verges of the A14.

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“I would urge people not to worry. Be cautious for the next few months but keep it in proportion.”

Bailey the Spaniel is making good progress since being at home and his owner, Tanya Lusher, says he should make a full recovery.

She said: “Since he has been home he has improved greatly. The swelling around his mouth, nose and chest has gone down immensely and a lot quicker than the vet had expected. It doesn't seem to bother him when he eats so that is the main thing.

“The vet bills have caused me a lot of expense that I could have done without.”

An Ipswich Borough Council spokesman said: “The snake [in Chantry Park] has been moved and the fence will be taken down.

“Seeing adders is a very rare occurrence as they are by nature very shy creatures, which is why they only react if disturbed.”

Michelle Gill was convinced her Lurcher, Casper, was bitten by an adder in Chilton Park, Stowmarket, however experts agree that this was highly unlikely due to the location and the position of the bite on the dog's body.

Albert Horn, who lives in Daundy Close, just the other side of Hadleigh Road, also said he recently had to wrestle a snake-believed to be an adder- from his cat.

How do you think the adder came to be in Chantry Park? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail