The RSPCA has warned that an abandoned royal python is on the loose in a city park leaving residents worried for their safety.
The animal charity has launched an appeal to track down the missing snake which is currently somewhere in Kingfisher Country Park in east Birmingham.
Animal welfare officers were alerted by a member of the public who spotted the creature near Shard End Lake at around 7.30am on Tuesday (March 8).
But by the time inspectors arrived at the beauty spot they were unable to locate the python, which can grow up to 5ft long, leaving locals fearing for their pets and children.
What have residents said about the python on the loose?
One person wrote on social media: "I take my two children and dog up there, I certainly won’t be for a while now. Scary stuff."
Another added: "What idiot would abandon a live snake in a family park. Not only a risk to others but that snake probably won’t last five minutes."
A third added: "Relax people, it won’t be suffocating your prized labradoodle, it’ll be more than likely be looking for rats and mice."
A fourth commented: "I’m not taking any risks. A python is a python at the end of the day and will be looking for prey."
What advice does the RSPCA have for residents near Kingfisher Country Park?
The RSPCA is now urging anybody with information on the snake’s whereabouts or how it came to be abandoned to get in touch with them.
A spokesperson for the charity said: “We’re really worried about this snake out in the cold weather and are appealing to anyone who has spotted the royal python to contact us so we can help bring the snake to safety.
“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.
“No matter what the reason, abandoning an animal alone and in a situation like this is never okay.
"There is no guarantee that an abandoned animal will be found or not become hurt or lost.
“If someone is struggling to cope there are lots of charities who could help and we would urge you to ask for help.”
Has this happened before?
The RSPCA added: “Unfortunately, this sort of thing isn’t unusual and we receive numerous calls relating to exotic pets, like snakes and lizards, some of which have been abandoned by their owners.
“Snakes often end up in our care when owners realise the commitment that is involved in meeting their needs and keeping them healthy.
"This is why we’re always saying that people should do their research before taking on a pet.”
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