A 1.5m long snake has been removed from a Cork beach by County Council officials after being reported by locals.
The Irish Coast Guard was alerted to the discovery close to the boardwalk at Youghal beach but the creature is not believed to have been a danger to members of the public.
In a statement on Facebook, the Coast Guard said the snake has been removed by County Hall workers.
“A slippery start to 2019 for the Irish Coast Guard team in Youghal with the discovery of a sea snake. The national Coast Guard control centre was informed, due to the unavailability of St. Patrick, Cork County Council was requested.
“Time well serpent by the team...
“If you see someone (human or reptile) in trouble, on the Coast, Cliffs, Beach or Water, don’t hesitate dial 112 and ask for Coast Guard.”
The snake is believed to be a non-venomous California King Snake1.5-metre, it was originally thought to be a turtle-headed sea snake which possesses potentially poisonous venom but are not aggressive. Human bites and fatalities are rare.
The two species are similar in colour patterns.
The Californian King Snake can survive in a number of different habitats including coastal areas and can live up to the age of 20. They feed on rodents.
It is believed the snake has probably escaped from its owner.
No legislation exists in Ireland on the ownership of exotic animals but the country is part of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora which ensures that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival.