Startled man finds 5-foot-long python curled up hiding inside his brand new sofa

A man had the shock of his life when he found a five-foot-long snake hiding in his new sofa.

The reptile had found its way into his furniture at his home in Clearwater, Florida, and the man was forced to call cops for help when he couldn’t get the red-tailed boa – or boa constrictor – out.

When police turned up at the condo, they had to resort to carrying the sofa outside so they could get to the slithery suspect, reports Fox 13.

The non-venomous snake surrendered to officers peacefully.

Once they’d helped put the couch back inside, the boa was given a ride in the back of a police car to a nearby pet shop.

The sofa was a new purchase for the startled resident, and it’s possible the snake had been a stowaway and had already been living in there when he bought the furniture.

"It’s a jungle out there sometimes," Clearwater police joked in a Facebook post.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said the red-tailed boa – which is an invasive species in the state – is an "extremely common" pet. It feeds on lizards, birds and mammals that live on the ground and in trees.

It is thought that a large number of red-tailed boas may have escaped when the premises of reptile dealers were damaged by the hurricanes that regularly hit the state – such as Hurricane Andrew in 1994 – and their population has since grown in the wild.

Boa constrictors are native throughout South America, including Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Brazil. Meanwhile, a small population on the US Virgin Islands now appears to be reproducing in the wild.

The man in Clearwater should be grateful he didn’t have had an even bigger shock, though. Red-tailed boas can grow to be more than twice as long as the one he found – up to 13 feet.

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