A South Shore man was forced to call police after his pet snake got a hold of his fingers and wouldn’t let go.

Fearing the 1.25-metre California kingsnake might have seen his owner as prey, the Saint-Hubert reptile owner called 911 for assistance at 1:15 a.m. Friday.

Though kingsnakes are not venomous, they are powerful constrictors and usually kill their prey using suffocation.

By the time first responders arrived at the home on Edouard Blvd., the man had managed to free his fingers from the kingsnake’s mouth.

He suffered only minor injuries and did not need to be transported to hospital.

When police arrived, the snake was back in its cage and safely secured. The owner said it had never happened before.

It is not against law to own this kind of snake; in fact the California kingsnake is one of the most common snakes in captivity.

They don’t usually eat human hands, though – the snakes usually feed on rodents, other reptiles, birds and amphibians.