ls-snakeOfficer Pete Gibson, left, and Sgt. Martin Scherzinger with the yellow rat snake they caught in a yard in Little Silver earlier today. (Photo courtesy of Little Silver P.D.)

Police in sleepy old Little Silver had an unexpected encounter this morning when they answered a call and found a yellow rat snake in a resident’s side yard.

Turns out the animal is non-venomous and commonly kept as a pet, but they didn’t know that when they responded to the 10:29a call at Judith Road, says Sgt. Dan Shaffery.

Two policemen snared the snake with a device used to capture animals while keeping them a safe distance away. Animal control officer Henry Perez assisted.

The snake isn’t indigenous to this region, and authorities don’t know if it escaped or was released into the wild, Shaffery tells redbankgreen. Meantime, Perez is holding onto it.

Here’s are a few factoids about yellow rat snakes from reptilechannel.com:

Yellow rat snakes are among the easiest snakes to feed, as they will take rodents and birds of any appropriate size. Large adults will even take rats, while hatchlings take pinky mice. Wild-caught specimens almost certainly will have intestinal parasites and should be wormed.