With chickens, goats, ducks, geese and rabbits on his 800ft allotment, Ronnie Kenyon runs a proper little menagerie.
But even he draws the line at his latest guest - a 17ft python.
Mr Kenyon discovered the creature when he saw what he thought was a fallen branch on the grass.
Snakes alive! Ronnie Kenyon came across the python in his allotment
It suddenly moved its head ... and he almost jumped out of his skin.
'It has either escaped or it belonged to somebody who can't manage it any more and they left it here because it got too big,' said 58-year-old Mr Kenyon, a retired sign maker from Blackburn.
He made a pen out of hay bales and chicken wire to house the python, which was sluggish because of the cold temperature, then contacted police who took it to a vet before it was handed over to the RSPCA.
‘I have never seen a snake as big as that. It was the length of a car,' Mr Kenyon added.
‘People know that I look after a lot of animals and maybe some thought I could look after it but I don’t know anything about snakes.
‘I would look after it if I could. I feel sorry for it and I will keep track of it. I hope it goes to a good home.’
Branching out: Jeff thought the 17ft python was a tree branch
Sergeant Graham Brownsmith, who handled the snake after advice from the RSPCA, said: ‘This is the largest snake I have had to deal with.
‘I certainly would not advise anybody to approach a snake.
‘If they see one they should contact the police or the RSPCA.
‘We only handled the snake after we received expert advice.
‘The snake has been docile from the cold weather but perked up at the vet’s practice.’
Long arm of the law: PC Martin Rawcliffe and Sergeant Graham Brownsmith bag the slippery customer