Seven dead snakes found by RSPCA in West Pinchbeck
The RSPCA has revealed that it was called to seven snakes found dead in a ditch by the side of the road in West Pinchbeck last March.
There were several breeds of snake, and although some were too badly decomposed to identify, the large snake is believed to be a reticulated python. A Royal python, boa constrictor and corn snake were also among the number.
The case was revealed as the Society released annual statistics showing it received 342 calls about exotic animals in Lincolnshire last year.
Inspector Justin Stubbs said: “I couldn’t believe it when I initially saw the size of the large snake.
“To have so many snakes in one place this must have been done deliberately, it may be an owner or even a pet shop has abandoned their collection.
“The snakes were all close together and we think they must have been dead when they were first dumped.
“Sadly many people do take on pets without carrying out their research first and then find later down the line that they cannot cope. Snakes in particular can live a really long time and grow to large sizes so you may find you end up with a much bigger snake - and need a bigger vivarium - than you started with.
“I would always urge people to carry out their research before taking on the commitment of an animal.”
In Lincolnshire, the charity rescued 86 exotic pets and 53 exotic fish last year, a rise on 2017 of 87 creatures and 18 fish.
The RSPCA believes the reason behind some of the suffering of these exotics pets is that owners do not do their research and don’t understand the type and amount of care that they need, resulting in them being neglected, dumped or escaping.
Chief Inspector for the area, Becky Lowe, said: “Although their numbers are small compared to more common pets, we have real concerns about the welfare of reptiles and other exotic animals kept as pets or entertainment in this country.
“Reptiles and other exotic pets are completely reliant on their owners to meet their welfare needs including requiring the correct levels of heat, light and humidity, plus an appropriate diet. Many of the animals we’re called to help are found stray outside, where they can very quickly suffer in the cold.
“We believe that people may buy them with little idea of how difficult they can be to keep and the animals are sometimes neglected when the novelty wears off and the commitment hits home. This is why we would encourage anyone thinking of getting an exotic pet to find out as much as possible about the animal’s needs and whether they’re the right pet for them.”
Last year, the RSPCA received 11,546 calls in Lincolnshire reporting cruelty, neglect, injury and suffering of all animals - a slight increase from 11,116 in 2017 - including 2,585 about cats, 3,606 about dogs and 729 about horses.
For information about the exotic animals looking for a home at the RSPCA, visit www.rspca.org.uk/findapet and for information from the RSPCA on how to care for reptiles and other exotic pets, please visit www.rspca.org.uk/adviceandwelfare/pets/other
More by this authorJeremy Ransome