Northern Ireland news

Burmese Python found abandoned in Wicklow Mountains

The five foot long snake, believed to be female, was found to be underweight, dehydrated and injured.

A DISTRESSED Burmese Python found abandoned in the Wicklow Mountains National Park has been taken to safety by the ISPCA.

The snake was secured by a National Parks and Wildlife representative who was alerted by a local farmer at the weekend.

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

ISPCA chief inspector Conor Dowling said as well as it beine a "potentially illegal release of a non-native species, there are numerous possible offences under the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013".

"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."

The snake, named Sammi by rescuers, is described as "hanging in there" but it is still very uncertain as to whether she will pull through.

"Animals such as Sammi have very specialised environmental requirements and will suffer slow, lingering deaths in normal Irish weather conditions," Mr Dowlind said.

"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 would like to see regulation of the breeding, selling and keeping of exotic pets.

"If anyone has any information about Sammi the ISPCA would very much like to hear from them. Please contact us by calling the ISPCA National Animal Cruelty Helpline on 1890 515 515 or email us at in confidence."

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