Six-foot boa constrictor with fractured jaw dies after being abandoned in country lane

A quiet country lane in Shropshire is being used as a dumping ground for unwanted pet snakes, the RSPCA believes.

The boa constrictor
The boa constrictor

It follows the discovery of an injured six-foot boa constrictor by two motorists opposite a layby on Roden Lane, near Shrewsbury, on Friday. The body of another long-deceased reptile was also found nearby.

The drivers managed to safely block the snake in with their cars before calling the police, who then closed the road.

RSPCA inspector Claire Davey, along with the charity’s animal rescue officer Rachel Ward, who specialises in incidents involving exotic animals, attended the scene.

The boa was bleeding from its jaw and was seen coughing up blood after most likely being hit by a car.

The RSPCA officers managed to safely contain the reptile in a large duvet cover using a special pole with a hook on the end, before a local vet specialising in exotic animals arrived a short time later to take it for treatment.

Diagnosed with a broken jaw and put on pain relief, it was initially thought the snake had a good chance of recovery, but the reptile sadly died later that night.

The body of another long-deceased, dried out snake of a similar size was also found nearby, and officers believes both reptiles were deliberately abandoned in the area.

Claire 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.

“Unfortunately these sorts of incidents are not unusual; 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. For example, an adult boa constrictor can grow up to 13-feet long and live for over 20 years in captivity, which is why we always urge people to do their research before taking on any exotic animal as a pet.”

For more information about the care of reptiles visit the RSPCA website.

Anyone with information about where the boa constrictor may have come from is urged to contact the RSPCA’s inspectorate appeal line on 0300 123 8018.

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