Five Foot Boa Constrictor Turns Up In Chiswick Hallway

RSPA asks 'Has anyone lost their snake?'


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A shocked local resident discovered a boa constrictor in a hallway in Chiswick.

The RSPCA has appealed for help tracing the owner of the five-foot long snake, which was discovered in Ellesmere Road last Friday.

A spokesperson for the RSPCA said: "We were called to a property in Ellesmere Road, Chiswick after a member of the public found a 5ft boa snake in their hallway. 

An image of a boa constrictor in the wild

"We have collected the snake and are now in the process of trying to track down its owner. For the time being the snake is being cared for at a specialist facility until we can reunite it with its owner.

"It is most likely this boa is an escapee and we are currently trying to track down the owner so we can reunite them.  These snakes can fit through small gaps and are deceptively strong so can lift enclosure lids if not properly secured."

The charity is hoping the owner will get in touch but it that does not happen, then the snake will be rehomed.

Boa constrictors can reach fourteen feet in length and are originally from South America. This is the latest in a series of snake sightings across London. A five-foot python was captured two weeks ago in a Wandsworth park, and two Royal Pythons - also not venomous - were found abandoned at a playing field in Twickenham.

Exotic pets appear to be increasing in popularity and the number of related incidents dealt with by the RSPCA has risen in recent years. Last year the RSPCA collected 1,853 reptiles - which included snakes. It was estimated in 2014 there were around 1,100,000 reptiles (snakes, lizard, tortoise, turtle) being kept in the UK.

The needs of exotics can be challenging to meet because they are fundamentally linked to certain behaviours, diets or environmental conditions in the animal’s natural environment, that can be difficult to replicate in a home. Unlike cats or dogs these animals have not undergone years of domestication, therefore they are wild animals kept in captivity and their needs are the same as in the wild.

Caring for reptiles can be challenging and expensive; the animal may grow very large, and live for a long time. You do not need a licence to keep a boa but the RSPCA urges anyone who is considering getting an exotic pet to research the animals needs thoroughly first.

At the moment the snake discovered in Chiswick is in a specialist facility where the staff are trained in looking after exotics. Snakes such as these need very specific care and won’t necessarily be able to survive in the wild in this country.

At the moment they are appealing for the owner of the boa to come forward and urge anyone with information about where this snake may have come from to contact the RSPCA Inspector Appeal line on 0300 123 8018

The charity also advises anyone who spots an escaped non-native snake to keep a safe distance and call the RSPCA cruelty line on 0300 1234 999.

September 2, 2015