The RSPCA has issued a warning over exotic pets after seven snakes were found abandoned at a house in Greater Manchester.
A royal python and six corn snakes were discovered in a front room and an upstairs bedroom of a property in the town of Heywood.
The owner of the reptiles made contact with the RSPCA and his landlord to say he would be leaving his snakes behind as he was moving home.
Inspectors Catherine Byrnes and Ryan King found all seven snakes in healthy and good condition, despite being kept in makeshift plastic tubs and containers.
Ms Byrnes said anyone wishing to own the reptiles should research the needs of the particular species before deciding if they can meet those responsibilities.
“While the needs of the snakes weren’t being met when we found them in this property they were in a good condition and the owner had clearly been feeding them,” she said.
“To look after snakes you do need to provide a living environment for them with adequate heating, lighting and humidity.
“We did find some heat mats in a bedroom, but obviously the owner hadn’t got around to using them or housing his snakes properly.”
The four adult corn snakes, two baby corn snakes and a python were taken into the care of a specialist reptile rescue near Knutsford, Cheshire, on Monday 25 April.
‘You are responsible for finding snakes a suitable home’
The RSPCA added that many people are unaware how much of a commitment is required to take on snakes as pets.
“Potential owners need to think carefully before they adopt snakes and other exotics because they are specialist animals,” Ms Byrnes added.
“You need to have the correct set-up to look after them and you need to understand you are responsible for finding them a suitable home if you are unable to continue caring for them.
“We can help out, but it is not that simple as animals like this can be difficult to rehome.”