Mystery over who is dumping pythons in a Yorkshire layby

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The RSPCA has issued an appeal after three 5ft snakes were found dumped in a layby in Yorkshire over a fortnight.

The reptiles were discovered in the pull-in on Kings Causeway, Swinefleet, Goole and taken to a neighbouring farm.

The snake had to be put down

The snake had to be put down

The first two were dead or died shortly being found and the third - a Royal Python which was discovered on Monday - was in such a poor condition it had to be put down.

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RSPCA Animal Collection Officer Leanne Honess-Heather said based on the descriptions from the farmer the first two snakes were also pythons.

The three snakes were all loose - rather than in a vivarium or box - when they were found and the RSPCA believes they were probably dumped at the same time but discovered separately.

She said: "They were described as being well over 5ft in length.

“I collected this snake - which was a little smaller at 5ft - and took the snake to a local veterinary practice that specialises in exotic animals.

“The poor thing was cold, lethargic, extremely thin, passing blood and showing signs of sepsis.

“Abandoning a reptile or releasing unwanted exotic pets into the wild is cruel and illegal. Most exotic animals kept as pets are unlikely to be able to survive in the wild in Britain.

“In the vet’s opinion this snake would have to have been outside for a considerable number of months to get to the condition they were found in so - given the circumstances - it seems very likely that the snake was seriously neglected prior to being abandoned.

“Sadly the snake had to be put to sleep by the vet due to their very poor condition.”

Where do pythons come from?

There are 31 species and they include some of the largest snakes in the world. They are found in Africa, Asia, and Australia.

While they will strike at passing prey attacks on humans are extremely rare.

They are widely killed for their meat and for their skin to make bags, belts and shoes.

The global python skin trade was worth an estimated US$1 billion in 2012.

RSPCA advice for owners

People wanting to buy a reptile needs to thoroughly research the subject first.

They are challenging pets because their owners need to replicate diets and environmental conditions they are used to in the wild.

Many people do not appreciate the level of commitment they need - animals may become aggressive, grow very large, live for a long time or require a licence or paperwork to be legally kept or sold.

Without proper care they can suffer serious diseases - and in the worst case scenario - die.

Anyone with any information about who they belonged to is urged to contact the RSPCA appeal line on 0300 123 8018.