Residents living in a Shropshire hamlet were left spooked after warnings the area could be being used as a place to abandon exotic pets
Residents of a quiet Shropshire hamlet were left horrified after a six-foot-long boa constrictor was seen crawling along a country lane.
The snake was bleeding from its jaw and seen coughing up blood opposite a layby on the B5062 near Roden on Friday.
RSPCA were called to attend the scene after the constrictor was discovered with a broken jaw by two motorists.
Officers were able to safely contain the reptile in a large duvet cover using a specialist pole with a hook. The snake was taken to a vets and given pain relief but died later that night.
The body of another long-deceased snake of a similar size was then found nearby, prompting fears that the road is being used as a place to dump unwanted exotic pets.
Following an investigation, the local RSPCA said it believed both reptiles were deliberately abandoned in the area.
A spokesperson for the organisation said: “Normally when we get a call like this we find the snake has been misidentified and it’s actually a small native species, so we were very surprised when we arrived and saw a six-foot boa constrictor on the road.
”It’s very sad that this beautiful creature’s life ended like this.
“Sadly we think this snake was probably abandoned as it’s a very isolated location and there are no houses around for at least a mile.
“The discovery of the body of another snake close by also leads us to believe that someone has deliberately left them.”
Locals have described the findings as the “stuff of nightmares” and expressed fears for the safety of the neighbourhood and their children and pets.
One person wrote on social media: “Is it just me or is this freaking anybody else out? I don’t want live 6ft snakes slithering around the village.”
Another added: “This is literally the stuff of my nightmares. My skin is crawling just thinking about it.”
A third person added: “You’ve got to think about these poor reptiles too, they won’t last long in our weather without the proper care.”
In response, someone wrote: “Exactly, they will be hungry. And that’s why I don’t want to let my pet out. These animals can be brutal killers and would target something small.”
Although non-venomous, boa constrictors are said to “eat almost anything” they can catch in the wild and their jaws can stretch wide enough to swallow large prey whole.
The RSPCA inspector said these sorts of incidents were “not unusual”, adding: “We receive hundreds of calls every year relating to reptiles, and some of these have either escaped or may have been abandoned by their owners.
“Sadly snakes and lizards often end up in our care as some owners don’t realise the commitment that is involved in meeting their needs.