Bedfordshire warned over deadly snake attacks as heatwave could trigger rise in escapes
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The RSPCA is advising snake owners to be extra-vigilant as the charity braces itself for a rise in stray pet snakes due to the hot weather.
The warning comes after 14 calls were made to the charity in the county last year – AND – more worryingly, after a stray 6ft boa constrictor was rescued from under a garden shed in Derbyshire.
In that case, no owner was found so the snake, had to be rehomed.
This year, as the heatwave continues, the charity is advising snake owners to be particularly careful and to double-check the animals’ enclosures are securely fastened.
RSPCA senior scientific officer Evie Button said: “Snakes are excellent escape artists and will take the opportunity of a gap in an enclosure door, or a loose-fitting lid to make a break for it.
“Last year, we took more than one thousand reports about snakes, with the highest number of calls coming in during the summer months. This is not surprising, as snakes become more active during hot weather – so as the UK continues to swelter this summer, we’re braced for another influx of calls.”
Another reason why more snakes escape in the summer is some owners take them outside to take advantage of the natural sunlight.
RSPCA advice - what to do if you find a snake
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.