Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Snake abandoned in Hook car park found by children

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Media captionThe snake was found dumped in a ditch near a car park

Two children have found a rare snake abandoned in a Hampshire car park.

The RSPCA is hoping to trace its owner after the serpent was discovered dumped inside a smashed up vivarium in Bowling Green Drive, Hook, on Tuesday.

The Irian Jaya carpet python is native to Papua New Guinea and northern Australia. Most are tame and easy to handle and rarely bite.

RSPCA inspectors believe the snake may have been abandoned by an owner who could not afford to treat it.

The snake, a female aged about three, was found in a healthy weight but had a large swelling on its body, probably caused by an old untreated injury.

It received treatment from a local vet before being taken to a local exotics expert.

'Wasn't moving'

Jessica Flemming said it was her dog that found the snake in the ditch.

She said: "As I went down to get her I saw a snake. It was a really big snake, about 4ft.

"We just stayed with it because it wasn't moving much because it was quite cold. So we stayed with it but keeping a safe distance away."

RSPCA inspector Phillip Hamilton said: "It would have been a death sentence to her if she was just left there.

"Just being left in a ditch near a park is ridiculous."

His colleague Rachel Gowers added: "A snake of this type would need to be kept in a warm environment and if it was not found quickly, could easily have died from the cold.

"To dump it in this way is totally irresponsible.

"Exotic pets are often the innocent victims of people who lose interest in them.

"It is likely that this animal was abandoned by someone who chose to take the coward's way out and dump it rather than getting it the veterinary attention it needed."

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