Two young pythons 'callously' thrown from moving car spark RSPCA probe

Two young snakes have been thrown from a car in the West Midlands in a shocking case being investigated by the RSPCA.

The two young snakes were hurled from a moving car in Birmingham
The two young snakes were hurled from a moving car in Birmingham

The animal charity has called the treatment of the two pythons "cruel and totally unacceptable" and is appealing for information on the incident, which happened in Birmingham.

A member of the public thought her eyes were deceiving her when two snakes slithered out of a broken tub which had been thrown out of the car travelling in front of her and onto the Newport Road traffic island.

Feeling uncomfortable around snakes, she was unsure what to do, but after reaching out to a friend who was willing and able to handle the two reptiles and put them safely in a box, she took them to a local vet and the RSPCA was contacted for help.

RSPCA inspector Fiona Howells said: “These poor snakes - later confirmed as Royal Pythons - had been callously tossed out of the window of a moving car.

“As their flimsy container hit the tarmac of the Newport Road traffic island, it broke open, leaving the two vulnerable reptiles loose and unprotected and in danger from passing cars.

“The driver who had been in the vehicle behind saw the whole event unfold, and luckily for the poor snakes, was able to make arrangements for them to be contained and taken to a local vet.

“Surprisingly, given their ordeal, the two snakes were in reasonable condition and looked healthy. Each was about three feet long, and we estimate they’re quite young - maybe six months old. They have now been taken to a specialist boarding facility where they will eventually be made available for adoption.

“I was really shocked by this incident. The callous and dangerous way in which these two snakes were just discarded out of the car window was really cruel and totally unacceptable. No matter what the reason, abandoning an animal is never okay. There is no guarantee that an abandoned animal will be found or not become hurt or lost.

“If anyone has any information regarding these snakes we would ask them to contact the RSPCA appeal line on 0300 123 8018.”

The two young snakes were hurled from a moving car in Birmingham

The incident took place on Sunday on Newport Road, near the roundabout leading to Bradford Road and Coleshill Road.

It came as the RSPCA's new Animal Kindness Index revealed that 19 per cent of pet owners are worried about the cost of feeding their animals, and 28 per cent are worried about being able to care for their pets.

Fiona added: “Sadly, the RSPCA has to deal with abandonments quite often. We receive thousands of calls a year relating to exotic pets, like snakes and lizards, many of which have been abandoned by their owners.

“Snakes often end up in our care when owners realise the commitment that’s needed to meet their needs and keep them healthy. This is why we always urge people to thoroughly do their research before taking on an exotic pet.”

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.

The RSPCA urges prospective owners of reptiles to thoroughly research the needs of the particular species and what is required in the care of the animal, using expert sources, and only consider keeping one if they can ensure they are fully able to provide for these needs.

For those who already have an exotic pet and are struggling with the expense of caring for them, including the rising costs of heating and light, some tips include:

  • moving multiple animals into the same room so heat sources do not have to work as hard, while taking care that they are not overheating.

  • not being tempted to turn down temperatures or light sources as this can lead to debilitating conditions for exotic animals - and potentially high vet bills in the future.

  • speaking to your energy supplier if you’re struggling: they may be able to offer a cheaper tariff or payment plan.

For more information about the care of exotic pets, visit rspca.org.uk/exotics.

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