A man was left in hot water with his wife after he put a deadly king cobra snake in the bath after he found it on a building site.

Andre du Preez, 54, was called in to nab the six-foot serpent after it had been disturbed from a hiding place – and was in danger of freezing to death.

The prison service supplier then took the snake home and ran a warm bath to revive it before heading off to prepare a heated terrarium glass tank for it.

But he didn't know his wife Tossie, 55, had returned early from a shopping trip – only realising when he heard her screams and the slamming of the bathroom door.

Andre rescues snakes as a hobby and releases them into the fields of trusted farmers well away from the community homes.

Snakecatcher Andre du Preez after having fished the Cape Cobra out of the bath

The dad-of-two, from Western Cape, South Africa, has been catching snakes for 35 years and reckons he saves 250 to 300 of the reptiles every year.

He said: "When I heard all the screaming I knew I was in for it but I had only planned to give the snake a few minutes to warm up and I thought she would be gone half an hour.

"She may not be very tall but she has a temper and can be more dangerous than a cobra!

The cobra was put in the bath to warm it up

"The snake's temperature had plunged after it was dislodged from its hibernation spot and I knew a nice warm bath with some special salts in it would heat it up and save its life.

"Tossie said I hope to build a bath in my own part of the house where I can keep my snakes.

"If she finds another one in her bath then 32 years of marriage could be in trouble!

"I don't charge for saving the snakes and they all get safely released on farmland where I know they will be safe and the only help I get to save them is from donations.

"They are normally Cape cobras, puff adders and boomslangs and all of them are highly venomous and potentially deadly but treat them with respect and you will be ok."

Andre's wife got a serious shock after finding the huge snake

Tossie said: "I was busting for the loo when I got in from the shops and had just gone in and then heard this huge hissing and a king cobra reared up from the bath.

"I screamed and it puffed out its hood and I ran out the door slamming the it shut and it is fair to say that Andre got more than a rough idea that I wasn't very happy with him.

"Only six months ago I was on the loo in a similar situation and three-foot long monitor lizard he had put in the bath began to crawl over the top and was looking right at me.

"He has 67 snakes of his own plus tarantulas and reptiles – but I tell him to keep them in his own part of the house."