The RSPCA is appealing for information after a 7ft-long Burmese python was abandoned in a box in Nottingham.
A member of the public found the snake in a plastic box with no air-holes in Kentwood Road, Sneinton, on Monday (9 October) afternoon. They contacted the police, who took the snake to the RSPCA’s Radcliffe branch.
The snake has now gone to a specialist exotics vets to be cared for, after which it will be moved to a rescue centre for rehoming.
The RSPCA’s Chief Inspector for Nottingham, Simon Parker, said: “Sadly, this isn’t unusual. We are finding that many people are unaware of how much of a commitment these animals are when they take them on, which we believe may be why we are rescuing hundreds of reptiles every year – and this number appears to be on the increase.
“Snakes are completely dependent on their owners for the correct accommodation, heating, lighting and feed, all of which must replicate their wild habitat as closely as possible to keep them healthy and allow them to express their normal behaviour,” Inspector Parker added.
“Without proper care they can suffer from serious diseases, dehydration, injuries, parasites, and in severe cases or if left untreated, they can eventually die.”
Anyone with information about who abandoned the snake should contact the RSPCA’s appeals line on 0300 123 8018.
RSPCA exotics senior scientific officer Nicola White said: “We are seeing a worrying number of snakes coming into our centres, because owners are no longer able to care for them.
“The main thing we want to stress to people who are thinking about bringing an exotic pet into their family is to think before they buy – research the needs of the animal thoroughly and make sure that you can provide everything that animal needs for the animal’s entire life.
“We would encourage potential owners to read books written by experts on the particular species they wish to keep, to join member societies where there are experienced keepers who can help if you are struggling and specialist vets are an excellent source of support and advice for owners.”
The RSPCA currently has dozens of snakes in its care and is searching for experienced homes for them to go to. If anyone is able to help rehome one of these wonderful snakes we’d ask them to get in touch via https://www.rspca.org.uk/findapet
To help the RSPCA continue rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming animals in desperate need of care please visit www.rspca.org.uk/give.