HAPPY REUNION: Elisha Smith and Ella-Rose Peterson, 9, with their pet snake Charlie, an albino Darwin python, who has returned home after being missing for almost a month.
HAPPY REUNION: Elisha Smith and Ella-Rose Peterson, 9, with their pet snake Charlie, an albino Darwin python, who has returned home after being missing for almost a month. Monique Preston

Joy at misssssing snake's return home

A CANNONVALE family is overjoyed its pet python is home after he went missing for almost a month.

Charlie the albino Darwin python disappeared on December 23 and had not been seen again until he turned up inside their house on Monday night.

Owner Elisha Smith was surprised but pleased when she noticed Charlie in a toy box behind the couch.

"I was just folding the sheets and out of the corner of my eye I saw something,” Ms Smith said.

"His head was sticking out of Ella's toy box. I don't know when he went in there.”

Charlie went missing from his tank outside the house on the day the family was going away before Christmas, and by the time they returned two weeks later, there was still no sight of him.

Ms Smith still does not know how he got back inside - whether it was through an open door or window, or somehow through a wall cavity.

However she said she had hoped Charlie would return.

"I was never going to give up hope and was out looking (for Charlie) every night,” she said.

And Ms Smith is happy he has returned.

"I was so, so excited,” she said.

"I've just had a smile on my face ever since.

"It's just the best news.”

Ms Smith has hardly wanted to let Charlie out of her sight since he returned home, with the beloved family pet sleeping in their bedside table since his return.

While Ms Smith, partner Steve Austin and her daughter Ella-Rose Peterson, 9, missed Charlie immensely, it seems the feelings from the snake were mutual.

"It was like he was giving us cuddles,” Ms Smith said on his return.

"He was squeezing us so tight.

"It was like a security constriction.”

The family plans to get a new tank for Charlie so that he can be an inside pet all the time.