Spalding

Seven dumped snakes among neglected exotic pets in Lincolnshire

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The RSPCA rescued a rising number of exotic pets in Lincolnshire in 2018, including seven snakes found dead in a ditch by the side of the road in West Pinchbeck, Spalding.

The grim discovery was made by an RSPCA inspector in March last year. This was one of over 340 call outs received by the RSPCA relating to exotic animals in Lincolnshire in 2018.

There were several breeds of snake found dead in the ditch. Some were too badly decomposed to identify.

The largest snake was believed to be a reticulated python. A Royal python, boa constrictor and corn snake were also among those found.

Seven snakes were found dead in a ditch by the side of the road in West Pinchbeck. Photo: RSPCA

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.”

RSPCA annual statistics

Figures released as part of the RSPCA’s annual statistics on Thursday, April 25 show that the RSPCA received 342 calls about exotic animals in Lincolnshire in 2018.

In Lincolnshire 86 exotic pets and 53 exotic fish were rescued by the RSPCA last year. This is a rise on 2017’s figures of 87 creatures and 18 fish.

Nationally the charity received a total of 15,790 calls about abandoned, stray, sick, suffering and neglected exotic reptiles, mammals, birds and fish. This amounted to more than 40 a day or over one every hour.

The RSPCA has a team of specially trained exotics officers. It rescued over 4,000 exotic animals – wild non-domesticated animals kept as pets – in 2018. This included more than 500 snakes, more than 300 turtles, 145 bearded dragons, five raccoon dogs and even four marmosets and one wallaby.

According to the RSPCA the reason behind some of the suffering of these exotic pets could be because owners do not do their research so don’t understand the type and amount of care needed. This results in them being neglected, dumped or escaping.

In 2018 the RSPCA received 11,546 calls reporting cruelty, neglect, injury and suffering of all animals in Lincolnshire. This included 2,585 about cats, 3,606 relating to dogs and 729 about horses. This is an increase from the 11,116 calls in 2017.