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'Mildly venomous' snake makes 5000 mile lorry ride to Essex

Workers at a freight firm in Essex had an unexpected surprise last week - when they found a snake in a lorry.

The staff called the RSPCA for help after discovering the cat-eyed snake in a lorry which had arrived from India.

The charity says it's likely to have travelled almost five thousand miles.

Animal collection officer David Eckworth went to collect the snake - he said, “Luckily, this snake survived a very long journey despite no obvious signs that he had access to food, water or appropriate heat.

“The staff weren’t sure if the snake was dangerous or not but our staff at RSPCA Brighton Reptile Rescue - which is now looking after the 1ft-long snake - believe he’s an Indian cat-eyed snake, or boiga, which is mildly venomous.”

The snake will be cared for by expert staff before being rehomed to a specialist keeper with the necessary knowledge and facilities to care for him properly.

David added: “We get a number of calls every year to freight companies and holidaymakers returning from their travels when they find a secret stowaway stashed in their suitcase or hidden in their packages. 

“We’ve been called to snakes, lizards, frogs, spiders and even scorpions! That’s why we urge all lorry drivers and tourists to check their packages and bags before closing up to head home.”

If you have concerns for the welfare of an animal, contact the RSPCA’s 24-hour cruelty line on 0300 1234 999.

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