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Dublin: 15 °C Friday 19 July, 2019
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5ft-long Burmese python found in Wicklow Mountains

It’s believed the python was abandoned – the female python is not in good health.

Image: ISPCA

A FIVE-FOOT-LONG Burmese python has been found abandoned in the Wicklow Mountains, the ISPCA said today.

The organisation, which is Ireland’s largest animal welfare organisation, is appealing for information after the snake (newly named Sammi) was found in the Wicklow Mountains National Park over the weekend.

The ISPCA said the snake was secured by a National Parks and Wildlife representative, who had been alerted by a local farmer.

These pythons are one of the largest species of snakes in the world, and are native to South and Southeast Asia, where they thrive in tropical areas. They’ve been known to grow to 17 or 18 feet.

The five foot long snake, believed to be female, was found to be underweight, dehydrated and injured. She has now been placed in the care of a reptile specialist.

ISPCA Chief Inspector Conor Dowling said that the snake was most likely abandoned – and into an environment she is completely unsuited for.

“In addition to the potentially illegal release of a non-native species, there are numerous possible offences under the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013,” he said. “This snake did not make its own way up the Wicklow Mountains and we believe that it was abandoned and left in an environment not suited to an animal of this type. We suspect that it had been abandoned some days prior to her discovery but we also have reason to be concerned about the care that it was receiving prior to its release”.

The snake is described as “hanging in there” but it is still very uncertain as to whether she will pull through.

Mr Dowling added:

Animals such as Sammi have very specialised environmental requirements and will suffer slow, lingering deaths in normal Irish weather conditions. During the exceptional summer last year, the ISPCA rescued two snakes which were active due to the warm weather. It raises the question how many animals of this type are out there dying slowly after being discarded by irresponsible owners that no longer want them. 

The ISPCA is calling for stronger regulations around the breeding, keeping and selling of exotic animals as pets

If anyone has any information about Sammi, they can contact the ISPCA by calling the ISPCA National Animal Cruelty Helpline on 1890 515 515 or emailing helpline@ispca.ie in confidence.

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