6ft-long dead snake found dumped by Stoke-on-Trent canal



An RSPCA investigation has been launched after the body of a 6ft-long dead snake was found dumped by a Stoke-on-Trent canal.

The animal welfare charity was called by a city reptile shop after a member of the public made the discovery on a towpath beside the Caldon Canal, opposite the Dolphin Discounts shop in Old Whieldon Road, Mount Pleasant.

Inspector Laura Baker believes the snake – a red-tailed boa constrictor – was abandoned in suspicious circumstances and is appealing for information to track down its owners.

She said: “We work regularly with this reptile shop so when a member of the public discovered the snake’s body by the canal – opposite the Dolphin Discount shop – and brought it inside, they contacted us for help.

“The snake was very large and I think it’s unlikely he’s escaped from a vivarium and died of natural causes so my concern is that he’s been dumped here in suspicious circumstances.

“What isn’t clear is how he died. He appears to be healthy, of good weight and has no obvious signs of injury.

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“I’m particularly concerned about the circumstances of this snake’s death as staff at the reptile shop said someone came in around a month earlier inquiring about re-homing a red-tailed boa.

“I’d like to appeal to the public and speak to anyone who may know where this snake has come from and who owned him

“Please call our appeal line on 0300 123 8018 if you can assist with our inquiries.”

Snakes aren’t able to produce their own body heat so they rely on their environment to maintain their body temperature.

If snakes become too cold they may be unable to feed or move normally, and their immune system will not work properly to fight disease, meaning the animal can become very ill.

Boa constrictors can grow extremely large and need substantial enclosures to meet their welfare needs. Unfortunately this means that charities such as the RSPCA are seeing more large snakes coming into their care when owners realise they can no longer take care of them.

For more information about caring for snakes, visit the RSPCA website.

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