Rishton walkers find huge python dead in Leeds Liverpool Canal

Python found in Rishton Image copyright Jessica Morris
Image caption The reticulated python was between 12 to 15 years old

A 16ft (5m) dead python has been found in a canal in Lancashire, prompting an appeal by police.

The snake was discovered floating in the Leeds & Liverpool Canal near to Norden Bridge in Rishton by walkers at about 16:00 GMT on Sunday.

Tests showed the reptile had signs of respiratory disease, which could have contributed to its death.

The reticulated python, which is not venomous, may have lived in the wild for a number of days before it died.

They survive in the wild by constricting and asphyxiating their prey, typically birds, rodents and small mammals.

Police said the dead snake, believed to have been 12-15 years old, may have "outgrown its home".

Ribble Valley Wildlife Crime Officer PC Carl Chew said: "Experts believe that a python of this size could have been capable of attacking a person so it is fortunate that no-one came to any serious harm.

"There are specific offences under the Wildlife and Countryside Act and Animal Welfare Act in relation to releasing a python and we would urge anyone with any information as to where the python came from to contact us."

Related Topics

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites