A band of foreign snakes that are said to be capable of crushing small children to death are on the loose in North London.
Over the last few weeks, 30 Aesculupian snakes, which can grow up to two metres in length, have been spotted up trees, rooftops and climbing up the drains of houses around the Regent's Canal area.
The snakes that are thought to originate from Yugoslavia have been known to attack small dogs and their numbers now seem to be growing in the capital.
Tales of snakes being spotted around the Regent's Canal area began in the 90s, but it was not until the head keeper of reptiles at London Zoo spotted one that they were confirmed as the Aesculupian.
Since then there have been a number of sightings across and these have increased in frequency over the last couple of months.
This has led to some residents fear that they could start entering houses and causing distress.
Mum-of-three Sylvia Taylor, 33, told the Daily Star: "If they are capable of killing small animals then surely they could constrict small children?"
Aesculupians are known for loving milder temperatures than most other reptiles and usually find their homes along river beds or streams, making Regent's Canal the perfect place for them to live.
There are many theories as to how the snakes first got to living on the banks of Regent's. One popular tale is that they were released on the quiet by the Inner London Education Authority as part of a secret scientific experiment.
Secret scientific experiment or not, since being introduced to London they have succeeded in making the capital their home and their numbers continue to grow.
While the large snakes have been known to attack small dogs and occasionally babies, they are more adept at feasting on small rodents and birds - so London's pigeons and rats watch out.
- UK Independent