RSPCA Cymru is appealing for information to try and find out the owner of a king snake who was found in an empty flat in Ebbw Vale.
The three-foot kingsnake, believed to be an escaped pet, fell from an attic opening as a member of staff from Tai Calon Community Housing moved a bag.
Supervisor Celfyn Chappell says it gave him a bit of a shock. “It was the last thing I expected to happen. At first I thought it was a toy snake. I realised it was real when it curled up.”
He gave the snake a drink of water and placed it into a container. “I took the box outside where it was a bit warmer. It started to move a bit more and we contacted the RSPCA to come and collect the snake.”
According to the neighbours the previous tenants had a snake, but it went missing in the summer.
RSPCA inspector Sophie Daniels, who is also an exotics specialist, said: “The snake just fell down on his head – he must have had quite a shock! He may have been missing for quite some months, so it is a surprise he has been able to survive on his own for this long.
“The snake – an albino California kingsnake – is now in our care. He was quite cold and lethargic so I warmed him up slowly and gave him a warm bath to help rehydrate him, and he is much better now.”
The snake has been taken to a veterinary surgery and has been put on antibiotics as he had a couple of scratches on him.
Inspector Daniels said: “We are now appealing for information to try and track down the owners. We’ve got a phone number for them but it isn’t working at the moment.
“Anyone who may have information can contact the RSPCA inspectorate appeal line on 0300 123 8018. Calls are treated in confidence.
“I’d like to thank the workers at the property for handling this situation so calmly by containing the snake and then calling us. Hopefully we can find out who he belongs to soon.”
Snakes are ectothermic, which means that they cannot produce their own body heat. If they escape it can be disastrous for them as their body processes cannot function normally outside of the correct temperature range. It is important to make sure all pet snakes are securely housed as they are adept escape artists.
If you would like to help the RSPCA, you can give £3 now by texting HELP to 78866 (text costs £3 + one standard network rate message). We are a charity and rely on public donations to exist.