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Exotic pythons

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RSPCA were alerted about the dead pythons by a member of the public

The way that callous reptile owners are ready to throw away their exotic animals they become too expensive to keep is creating serious animal welfare issues.

As these shocking pictures reveal, the four beautifully marked royal pythons were left to die in chilling waters of a Welsh stream when they could easily have been handed to the care of an animal sanctuary or a reptile expert.

It is the second time in days that royal pythons have been unceremoniously dumped.

Eleven snakes died over the Christmas holidays after being abandoned outside a veterinary surgery in Plymouth.

RSPCA inspectors are investigating both incidents but they are unlikely to be connected.

The latest shocking find was made by a dog walker who found the snakes partly submerged below a footbridge crossing a steam near Denbigh Police Station, Clwyd, North Wales, on Tuesday.


The snakes were identified as African royal pythons

The RSPCA was called and we recovered the four dead snakes from the location

RSPCA inspector Jenny Anderton said: “Staff at Denbigh Police Station were alerted by a member of public who discovered four snakes in a nearby stream.

“The RSPCA was called and we recovered the four dead snakes from the location. They were royal pythons of different colours and one of the snakes was inside a clear bag.”

This latest find highlights mounting concerns of the RSPCA over the way that exotic pets are being abandoned callously by owners who are struggling to look after animals that originate from the tropics.

Lizards, pygmy hedgehogs and snakes are some of the delicate animals that have been turned loose on to the streets because over-ambitious owners find them either too expensive to keep or too time-consuming.

One of the snakes was put into a plastic bag before being dumped into the stream

Drowned snakesOnly one royal python out of 12 survived after being dumped outside a vets in Plymouth shortly before Christmas.

Animal welfare workers said the snakes, all around three feet long, were unhealthy because of poor living conditions.

A lack of proper heating had left the snakes with respiratory problems.

At the time, RSPCA Animal Collection Officer and Exotics Specialist Peter Ferris said: “It is so sad to see any pets dumped but particularly exotic pets which really need specialist care.

“We would urge people who can't cope with their exotic pets to please contact the RSPCA or their local vets for help and support.

“To abandon an animal can compromise his or her welfare, especially for snakes, who cannot produce their own body heat.”

Eleven snakes died over Christmas after being dumped outside a vet

The RSPCA warns that anyone releasing exotic reptiles into the wild in the UK face prosecution under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

“We are urging potential owners to thoroughly research what is required in the care of the exotic animal before taking one on, as potential owners need to make sure they can give their animal the environment it needs and they have the facilities, time, financial means and long-term commitment to maintain a good standard of care, as required under the Animal Welfare Act 2006, ” says the charity.

• Anyone with anyone with information about these snakes should contact the RSPCA Inspectorate Appeal Line on 0300 123 8018. Calls are treated in confidence.


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