Alarming posters have appeared in the Camden area of London alleging that a dangerous black mamba snake is on the loose.
The poster says that the snake, named Rosie, will be looking for somewhere warm and urges residents to check "under your car seats" and "under bed sheets".
"DO NOT ATTEMPT TO HANDLE HER" comes the final, chilling warning.
The black mamba is considered one of the world's most dangerous snakes.
But when BuzzFeed News telephoned the number on the poster to find out if there had been any update on the "sadly missed" pet, we discovered the number was DEAD.
Professor Sophie Scott, who raised the snake alarm on social media when she spotted the poster, became suspicious that Rosie's alleged disappearance could be a hoax when she too tried to unsuccessfully call the number.
"My son was convinced it was real, and I was *slightly* worried at first," Scott told BuzzFeed News.
"But I'm pretty sure it's a hoax, especially as the number doesn't seem to work!"
A spokesperson for the Metropolitan police sighed heavily when we asked if they had received any reports of the snake before referring the matter to the local Safer Neighbourhood Teams for the Camden borough.
A spokesperson for Kentish Town's Safer Neighbourhood Team said it was "difficult to say" if the missing snake claims were real.
He could not deny that such a beast could be at large, but conceded that the poster was worded in a "peculiar" way that "would lead you to believe it's probably a hoax".
At the time of writing, a request for information from the nearby King's Cross Safer Neighbourhood Team remained unanswered.
Holborn's Safer Neighbourhood Team could also not be reached.
Members of the public working in Camden refused to let the possibility of a snake at large strike fear into them.
"To be honest, we're more concerned about the mice than the snake," Alex Butt, deputy editor of Asos Likes, based in Camden, told BuzzFeed News.
"If the snake eats the mice then we'll give it an office and put it on the payroll."
UPDATE: There is definitely not a black mamba snake on the loose in Camden.
On Friday afternoon, the missing snake poster was replaced with a new one titled "snake update" that confirmed there was no black mamba roaming the streets of Camden after all.
"There is not a snake called "Rosie" on the loose," the prankster wrote. "The poster was a hoax".
So there you go.
Laura Silver is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
Contact Laura Silver at email@example.com.
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