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Stray Royal Python found in back garden in Barking

The snake was found in a back garden in Shaw Avenue (credit:RSPCA)

A stray Royal Python has been found in the back garden of a house in Barking.

The snake, which is around one metre long, was spotted loose out the back of a property in Shaw Avenue when a women was letting her dog out on Monday, 13 February.

The animal has now been rescued by the RSPCA.

RSPCA animal rescue officer, Lee Ricketts said: “The shocked householder couldn’t believe her eyes when she spotted this Python in her garden. He was around one metre long – though they can grow bigger.

“The householder decided to contain him and brought him into her house where she looked after him until I arrived.

“We suspect he had slipped out of his enclosure and made a break for it. He was cold and sluggish and we reckon he had been on the run for at least a few days.

“I checked him over and other than a few marks on the back of his head – which could be as a result of him shedding his skin – he was in fairly good condition.”

The owner hasn’t been found and the snake wasn’t microchipped.

The RSPCA say they’re seeking an experienced new home for the animal.

Lee continued: “I took him to RSPCA Brighton Reptile Centre to be fully examined and cared for. We were hoping to reunite him with his owner – who must be missing him – but unfortunately he was not microchipped and despite making local enquiries and putting up posters, no one has come forward.

“He will soon be available for adoption, though as all exotic pets have very complex welfare needs, we’d urge potential owners to do their homework thoroughly before taking an animal such as this on.”

Last year, the RSPCA received more than 900 calls (935) about pet snakes in need of help.

RSPCA scientific officer Evie Button said: “Snakes are excellent escape artists and will take the opportunity of a gap in an enclosure door, or a loose-fitting lid to make a break for it.

“Last year, we took more than 900 reports about snakes. We urge all pet snake owners to invest in an enclosure suitable for the particular species and make sure that the enclosure is kept secure – and locked if necessary – when unattended.

“The RSPCA receives around 90,000 calls to its emergency line every month so a few extra minutes checking that your snake is secure could help keep your snake safe, and save our officers’ time to allow them to save an animal that’s in danger.”

Many of the snakes RSPCA’s officers are called to collect are thought to be escaped pets; however there are also increasing concerns about the numbers being dumped or abandoned as a consequence of the cost of living crisis..

Evie added: “Sadly, we are also dealing with a lot of abandoned snakes.

“We find 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 called out to deal with hundreds of animals every year who have sadly been abandoned when their owners can no longer meet their needs.”

For more on this story, and the latest on our other local and national news, listen to Time 107.5FM


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