Dead 6ft boa constrictor found dumped by canal as hunt is on for cruel owner

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The RSPCA is hunting for a cruel pet owner after the body of a huge 6ft (72ins) long red tailed boa constrictor was found dumped next to a canal.

A member of the public discovered the body of the snake abandoned on a towpath beside the Caldon Canal in Stoke-on-Trent on September 5.

The shocked passer-by informed a local reptile shop which called the animal charity before Inspector Laura Baker was sent to the scene.

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 into the shop 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.

"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 enquiring about rehoming a red tailed boa."

Laura is now appealing for information in an attempt to track down the snake's owners and has urged anyone with information to get in touch.

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She added: "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 enquiries."

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.

A spokesperson for the RSPCA added: "Reptiles often end up in RSPCA care after people realise they're not easy to care for, or once the novelty wears off.

"Unfortunately, many people are unaware of how much of a commitment these animals are when they take them on, as their needs are just the same as they would be in the wild and are fundamentally linked to certain behaviours, diets or environmental conditions that can be difficult to replicate in a home.

"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."

  • Animals

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