STAFF at Midhurst’s Spinning Wheel bakery got the shock of their lives when they found a snake crawling across the floor of the shop.
But not knowing what it was or whether it was poisonous they managed to persuade it into a box and get it to safety.
Business owner Mark Hubbard said: “We looked on the internet but couldn’t find out what it was and the RSPCA wouldn’t come out until the following day so I took it to a vet in Bognor with specialist equipment to look after it.
“We clean the shop thoroughly every day so it must have got into the shop that day, it can’t have been there very long and there must be someone out there who has lost a pet snake.”
Mr Hubbard took the black and white snake to Alphapet in Bognor’s Precinct for identification.
Alphapet veterinary nurse Natalie Pink said: “The snake is about 1ft long and just a few months old.
“He is, in fact, a kingsnake.
“These snakes are native to North America, so obviously someone must be missing it.”
Kingsnakes are commonly kept as pets because they are hardy and easy to look after.