IT may not be king-sized – but this slippery customer comes by royal appointment.
The eye-catching black and white California kingsnake is the latest sss-special guest at South Shields Museum and Art Gallery’s Creature Corner.
The 10-month old reptile joins a burgeoning museum menagerie, which already includes a python and a tarantula.
The snake will grow one metre long by the time it reaches the age of three – but is so small at the moment that staff don’t know its gender.
That hasn’t stopped the museum team from urging visitors to help name the diminutive snake, which currently only requires feeding once a week.
Suggestions can be placed in the special postbox next to the kingsnake’s home at the museum until October 31.
With the snake’s sex unknown, names which would suit both a male and female are encouraged.
The winner of the competition will receive an official certificate plus a goodie bag. They will also be invited to an official naming ceremony where the snake’s name plaque will be unveiled to the public.
Museum manager Geoff Woodward said: “I’m delighted to welcome our new kingsnake to the increasingly popular Creature Corner at the museum.
“I can’t wait to see what name suggestions are made by the public.”
For more information on the naming competition, contact the museum on 456 8740 or speak to a member of staff on reception for details.