A three-foot-long python was rescued after being found on a Bradford street, with CCTV footage showing it being dragged along the road by a man.
The RSPCA was called in to save the snake which was found in Longlands Street, off Westgate in the town center, on Sunday morning and veterinary tests later revealed the python had ingested bleach – suggesting that the substance had been poured on or near him.
CCTV footage recovered near the scene also shows a man dragging the reptile along the street to the end of the road shortly after the reptile was first spotted.
Rescue Inspector Demi Hodby has been dispatched to retrieve the snake which is now doing well in vet care.
She is eager to find out how the snake got to the street and wants to track down the man seen dragging the reptile along the road.
She said: “This python was in good condition, so I suspect it was a pet that the owner decided had had enough.
“A member of the public saw the snake on a nearby wall, so I picked it up from the scene and could smell the bleach.
“I think someone poured this on or near him and a vet later said he had ingested it, luckily he was not badly injured.
“Later, as I was checking the CCTV nearby, there is an image of a man picking up the snake and dragging it down the street before throwing it out.
“At this point, I don’t know if the man first abandoned the snake – as the reptile was spotted before this incident – or if he found it after it was spotted on the road and decided to drag him.
“I just can’t understand why someone would throw that poor snake like that. That he’s then roughly dragged like that, it’s just awful.
“I want to track down whoever was responsible for leaving the snake on the street and would like to hear from anyone with information or who may have seen anything suspicious.”
The RSPCA said, “Reptiles depend on their environment to maintain their body temperature.
“Reptiles that are not native to this country – like this snake – need a heated environment with a specific temperature gradient for the species to regulate its body temperature, in order to stay healthy and allow it to conduct his normal behavior.
“If a reptile is too cold, it may be unable to feed or move normally and its immune system will not work properly to fight disease, which means the animal can become very sick.
“Anyone who recognizes this snake or thinks they know more about the origin of the snake should contact the RSPCA hotline on 0300 123 8018.
“The RSPCA urges anyone considering adopting a pet to properly research the species first.”