Three metre python on the loose in Cambridge
Police officers were called out in the early hours of yesterday morning (Saturday) after reports that a potentially deadly three metre snake has been spotted on the loose.
The reticulated python was seen in the Lovells Road area. Police have located the owner but not the python, which was confirmed to be 9ft long.
The reticulated python is a snake species native to south and south-east Asia. It is the world's longest snake and is among the heaviest. It is not venomous, but kills its prey with restriction.
There have been two documented cases of the reticulated python eating humans, both happened in Indonesia, in 2017 and 2018, and both snakes were 23ft long - more than twice the size of the snake loose in Cambridge. However, this species is know to eat rodents and other small mammals.
The species is known to be an excellent swimmer and has been reported far out at sea.
Anyone who spots the snake should call Cambridgeshire police on 101.
An RSPCA spokesperson said: "If anyone finds a snake they believe is non-native, the RSPCA’s advice is to keep a safe distance, monitor the snake and call the charity’s helpline on 0300 1234 999.
"Exotic pets such as snakes often end up in the RSPCA’s care after people realise they're not easy to care for, or the novelty wears off. Others are rescued after they have been abandoned, escaped or been released on purpose, which then could be a risk to our native wildlife.
"The needs of reptiles can be challenging to meet because they 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 domestic environment.
"The RSPCA urges prospective owners of reptiles such as snakes to thoroughly research the needs of the particular species and what is required in the care of the animal, using expert sources. People should only consider keeping a snake if they can ensure they are fully able to provide for these needs."
For more information on what to consider before adopting a snake, visit the RSPCA’s website rspca.org.uk.
More by this authorAlex Spencer