Royal Python, Llanduno, May 2019A Llandudno resident had a s-s-s-s-urprise – after a stray, five-foot royal python paid him a visit as he painted a garden fence.

RSPCA Cymru was alerted after the snake was discovered at the Cwm Place property on Tuesday (May 7).

The snake – who appears in good health, with no visible injuries – was confined, and safely collected by the RSPCA soon afterwards and is now in the care of a specialist centre.

An appeal has now been launched in the hope of finding the snake’s owner, with the RSPCA flagging how the issue acts as a timely reminder as to the importance of housing snakes appropriately.

RSPCA animal collection officer William Galvin said: “I’m sure the last thing this Llandudno resident was expecting was a royal python joining him as he painted his garden fence!

“Fortunately, the snake seems to be fine, and I safely collected the animal soon after we received the call.

“Unfortunately, calls about abandoned or escaped exotic animals are very common. Indeed, it seems very likely this snake has escaped from a nearby property.

“Many of the snakes the RSPCA’s officers are called to collect are thought to be escaped pets. The RSPCA would always recommend owners invest in an enclosure suitable for the particular species and that the enclosure is kept secure, and locked if necessary, when unattended.  Reptiles, particularly snakes, can be extremely good escape artists and will take the opportunity of a gap in an enclosure door, or a loose-fitting lid.

“Royal pythons have complex needs, and it is vital that owners ensure their accommodation is always secure, safe and appropriate. Reptile owners must thoroughly research the needs of the particular species and what is required in the care of the animal, using expert sources, and only consider keeping one if they can ensure they are fully able to provide for these needs.

“The owner of the snake, or anyone with related information, can contact our inspectorate appeal line on 0300 123 8018.”

If anyone finds a snake they believe is non-native the RSPCA’s advice is to keep a safe distance, monitor the snake and call the charity’s helpline on 0300 1234 999. Should you wish to help the RSPCA investigate cases such as this one, you can donate online.