NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Scottish SPCA centre takes in record number of snakes

Sparkle the corn snake Image copyright Scottish SPCA
Image caption Sparkle the corn snake is just one of the 34 reptiles in need of a new home

The Scottish SPCA is appealing for new owners for the record number of snakes taken in by its Drumoak centre in Aberdeenshire.

The centre has looked after a record 80 snakes this year, compared to 14 in 2013 and 13 in 2012.

Staff are currently caring for 34 snakes, from baby corn snakes to boas and pythons.

The reason behind the sharp increase is unknown, though snakes are said to be great escape artists.

Senior animal care assistant Jacki Bell explained that the majority are corn snakes which were found as strays and never reclaimed.

Others were abandoned and some have arrived after their owners could no longer offer them the care they needed.

Image copyright Scottish SPCA
Image caption It is difficult for the Drumoak staff to rehome exotic animals in the area, such as Cracker the boa constrictor

Ms Bell continued: "Unfortunately we seem to struggle to rehome exotic animals in this area, especially corn snakes. This is a real shame as corn snakes are generally quite docile and easy to handle.

"They may be a good option for someone interested in exotics who hasn't owned a snake before."

Ms Bell urged anyone thinking of taking on a snake to do their research first.

She added: "While snakes aren't everyone's cup of tea, they can make excellent pets for owners who will appreciate them and meet all their needs."

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