A five-foot long snake has been discovered roaming the Wicklow Mountains by a local farmer.
The Burmese Python, now named 'Sammi' and believed to be female, was found to be underweight, dehydrated and injured. It is suspected that she was abandoned.
She has since been secured by a National Parks and Wildlife representative who was alerted by a local farmer and has been placed in the care of a reptile specialist.
The ISPCA is appealing for information regarding the exotic animal, who is described as "hanging in there" and say there may be a possibility that it will not pull through after being exposed to an environment it is not used to.
ISPCA Chief Inspector Conor Dowling commented:
"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. 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”.
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 would like to see regulation of the breeding, selling and keeping of exotic pets”.
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 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 them at [email protected] in confidence.