Pictures capture moment 10ft python was rescued from tree in Cambridgeshire village
This was the moment a 10ft python was rescued from a tree in a South Cambridgeshire village.
RSPCA inspector Justin Stibbs said it was like a scene from the Jungle Book when he was called to Conington on Friday afternoon (August 27).
A motorcyclist had spotted the large reptile slithering down across a quiet country lane in front of him and called the police, who contacted the RSPCA for help.
By the time Justin arrived, the snake had climbed up a nearby tree for safety.
“I really could not believe it when I got there and saw this huge snake all the way up in the tree - it was a scene a bit reminiscent of the Jungle Book!” he said.
“When I saw the snake so high up in the branches I knew it was going to be tricky to get him down due to the height the snake had climbed to, difficulty gaining access to him, and the need for more people given the size of the snake.
“I contacted Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service and they kindly came out to help me.”
The team removed some branches of the tree until they could get access to the branch on which the snake was resting. They then cut the branch so the python gently fell into a tarpaulin held by Justin and firefighters beneath.
Justin said: “We then carefully gathered the snake up into a duvet cover and took him straight to a local specialist for health checks and boarding until the owner can be traced.
“The snake is about 10-foot long and a reticulated python. We think he or she may have been loose for some time as they were cold and a little underweight.
“I’ve rescued hundreds of animals from trees over my 25 years with the RSPCA, cats, birds, foxes, and I’ve been called to many snakes, but I wasn’t expecting to see this stunning animal wrapped high up around tree branches in the English countryside!”
Justin added: “Unfortunately, this sort of thing isn’t unusual and we receive thousands of calls a year relating to reptiles, like snakes and lizards, who have either escaped or many of which have been abandoned by their owners.”
As snakes do not produce their own body heat, they rely on their environment to maintain their temperature. If they become too cold, they can become unable to feed or move normally, and their immune system may not work properly to fight disease. This can lead to serious illness or death.
Justin added: “In the summer time we have more of these animals coming in to our care as the warmer temperatures give them more energy and they escape from their vivariums or from back gardens when owners have left them out to enjoy the outside and they have slithered off.
“However, sadly snakes often also end up in our care as some owners don’t realise the commitment that is involved in meeting the needs of these animals and keeping them healthy. This is why we’re always saying that people should do their research before taking on a pet.”
The RSPCA urged anyone thinking of giving a home to a reptile to research its needs fully, using expert sources.
Anyone with information about where the snake might have come from is urged to contact the RSPCA on 0300 123 8018. For more information about the care of reptiles, visit www.rspca.org.uk/exotics.