A snake travelled more than 7,600km in a lorry from India to the UK.
WORKERS at a freight company in Purfleet, Essex, found the snake in the lorry on Tuesday (26 November) and called the RSPCA for help.
Animal collection officer David Eckworth went to collect the snake. He said: “Staff said the lorry had travelled from India so it’s likely the snake had been onboard for more than 7,600km!
“Luckily, this snake survived a very long journey despite no obvious signs that he had access to food, water or appropriate heat.
“The staff weren’t sure if the snake was dangerous or not but our staff at RSPCA Brighton Reptile Rescue – which is now looking after the 1ft-long snake – believe he’s an Indian cat-eyed snake, or boiga, which is mildly venomous.”
The snake will be cared for by expert staff before being rehomed to a specialist keeper with the necessary knowledge and facilities to care for him properly.
David added: “We get a number of calls every year to freight companies and holidaymakers returning from their travels when they find a secret stowaway stashed in their suitcase or hidden in their packages.
“We’ve been called to snakes, lizards, frogs, spiders and even scorpions! That’s why we urge all lorry drivers and tourists to check their packages and bags before closing up to head home.”
While we are concerned for the welfare of these animals, as they’re not native to this country and may well have faced an extremely long and arduous journey, we would always advise people to treat any unidentified animal with caution until identified accurately and not to try to handle an animal that has been discovered as accidentally imported.
If you have concerns for the welfare of an animal, contact the RSPCA’s 24-hour cruelty line on 0300 1234 999.
To help the RSPCA continue rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming animals in desperate need of care please visit www.rspca.org.uk/give.