Wednesday 26 October 2016

Five-foot carpet python in Wandsworth's King George's Park captured by police

Published 11/08/2015 | 17:48

Pc Faye Castleman with the snake which was found by police officers in King George's Park
Pc Faye Castleman with the snake which was found by police officers in King George's Park
The snake was found by police officers after they were called to King George's Park in Wandsworth

Gutsy police officers have captured a five-foot snake on the loose in a public park.

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Metropolitan Police officers were called to King George's Park in Wandsworth, south London, on Monday night where the carpet python was found slithering along the edge of a fence.

In a series of tweets, Superintendent Steve Wallace revealed how a team of three officers snared the "slippery customer" using a secure bag.

He also shared a picture of Pc Faye Castleman posing boldly alongside the black and gold patterned python with its head raised.

He said on Tuesday: "Slippery customer! Pc Castleman attended King George's Park yesterday - reports of large snake on the loose.

"Sgt Wainwright attended with a ballistic bag and handed it Pc Terry who captured the animal - safely delivered to Putney Animal Hospital."

It came a day after two Royal Pythons were discovered abandoned in a playing field in Edwin Road, Twickenham, on Sunday morning, around eight miles away from St George's Park.

The pair were collected by an RSPCA specialist after police officers confined them.

All three were taken to Putney Animal Hospital but are now being cared for at South Essex Wildlife Hospital and are in moderately good health, an RSPCA spokeswoman said.

Carpet Pythons, which are not venomous, are native to Australia and New Guinea and kill their prey through constriction. T he RSPCA said the captured snake is proving " feisty " and a "challenge to handle".

Royal Pythons, which are also not venomous, are native to Africa and are a popular reptile pet because of their docile nature.

An RSPCA spokeswoman said: "Carpet pythons are not venomous, but can grow quite large - up to six feet long - so it could have become unmanageable for the owner.

"It is still unclear whether these two cases are connected.

"We see a rise in abandoned or escaped reptiles during the summer months, so it could be that these snakes were seen because they were active, due to the warm weather this weekend.

"These snakes are not native to the UK so are likely to have been exotic pets. It is not known for sure whether they escaped, or were dumped."

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