A four-year-old girl has been bitten by a snake which had found its way into her home in inner city Bradford.

Terrified Wajihah Sarmad suffered a foot injury and was rushed by ambulance to Bradford Royal Infirmary for treatment.

The reptile, believed to be an American corn snake, had been lying camouflaged against a rug in the living room of the family home in Haycliffe Hill Road, Little Horton.

Wajihah’s nine-month-old sister, Sameehah, had been on the sofa only feet away.

The children’s dad, Sarmad Ilyas, trapped the one-and-a-half-foot snake under a food container and called police.

Mr Ilyas, 34, who was in the kitchen along with other family members when his daughter was bitten, said: “Wajihah came running in shouting that something was crawling. I went in but I didn’t see it because it blended into the rug – but I realised it was a coiled-up snake.

“Wajihah was screaming and crying. It was quite a shock to have a snake in your living room and only a few feet away from a toddler.

“I picked Sameehah up and moved her into the kitchen straight away. My other daughters were hiding in the corner of the kitchen.”

While Mr Ilyas tackled the snake, his wife, Homera, and their other daughter, Nabihah, six, ran to a neighbour’s house with Wajihah and Sameehah.

Mr Illyas said the snake was placid when he approached it, but he believed it bit his daughter because she accidentally trod on it.

“I had a proper look at it to make sure it was a snake,” said Mr Ilyas. “I really thought it was some prayer beads. It was a brownish-orange colour and we have some prayer beads that are similar but when I saw it moving I knew it was a snake.”

Mr Illyas said a doctor at BRI, who had worked in Africa, had confirmed that the puncture wounds his daughter had suffered were a snake bite.

“Wajihah got a bandage and some antibiotics. She is fine now, although she was limping for a bit,” he said.

An RSPCA spokesman said: “We were called by police who had been contacted by the family and asked to collect the snake. It has been taken to a specialist carer in the Morley area who will try to find a suitable home for it.

“It was a cream and grey corn snake which apparently was very hungry when taken to the specialist.

“They said they are seeing a lot of young corn snakes at the moment. It was a very hot day and small young hatchlings can take advantage of any crack or opening in the vivarium and get out so there is no way of knowing where it came from.

“Corn snakes are the commonest pet snake and are not venomous but some people have an allergic reaction to their saliva. They are not indigenous.”

A police spokesman confirmed officers had attended the address.

“There were suggestions from the people who reported it that the snake could have been picked up by a child’s pushchair while they were out,” he said.