The RSPCA is appealing for information after a 4ft orange cornsnake was found by a bin in Wolverhampton.
A member of the public contacted the RSPCA after finding the animal on Walsall Street, in Willenhall, on Wednesday night (20 January).
RSPCA animal collection officer Kirsty Martuccio said: “The snake was very cold and as a result – snakes need warmth – wasn’t able to move much, and there were no obvious injuries.
“It is unlikely the snake would have been able to get very far on its own so we do believe that it was dumped.
“We find that people take on exotic animals like reptiles without researching their needs or having any idea of how to care for them properly. They then end up injured, sick or even dead just because their owners either didn’t have the money or knowledge about how to care for them.
“The RSPCA is experiencing widespread neglect and abandonment of reptiles as for many people an exotic animal represents too much of a commitment. We would encourage people who are thinking about taking on an exotic pet to research the needs of the particular species thoroughly and ensure they can meet them at all times.”
Caring for reptiles can be challenging and expensive. The animal may grow very large, live for a long time, become aggressive or require a licence or paperwork to be legally kept or sold. They have the same needs as in the wild, which must be met in captivity by law under the Animal Welfare Act.
The snake is now being looked after by Proteus Reptile Trust in Dudley and will be available for rehoming soon if an owner does not come forward.
Anyone with any information about the snake and who it might belong to is urged to call the RSPCA’s appeal line in confidence on 0300 123 8018.
For more information on looking after snakes, visit www.rspca.org.uk/adviceandwelfare/pets/other.
The RSPCA is a charity and we rely on public donations to exist. To assist our inspectors in carrying out their vital work please text HELP to 78866 to give £3 (Texts cost £3 + one standard network rate message).