A six-foot long boa constrictor suffering from a suspected mite infection was found abandoned earlier this month in an alleyway in Thornton Heath, Croydon.
The discovery was made just off Camden Way on May 15 when a woman found the snake, still alive, in a polystyrene box whilst walking along the footpath.
RSPCA inspector Callum Isitt said: “The snake was in a poor condition and was suffering with what looked like a bad skin infection so I took him straight to our animal hospital in Putney for treatment.”
Without proper care these animals can easily die. Isitt added: “This boa was very dehydrated and lethargic, therefore would not have survived long on his own.”
He spoke of how important it is to look after the reptiles, adding: “Snakes are completely dependent on their owners for the correct accommodation, heating, lighting and feed.”
RSPCA exotics senior scientific officer Nicola White added: “We are seeing a worrying number of boa constrictors coming into our centres, because owners are no longer able to care for them.
“The main thing we want to stress to people who are thinking about bringing an exotic pet into their family is to research the needs of the animal thoroughly and make sure that you can provide everything that animal needs for the animal’s entire life.
She continued: “We want to make sure these animals who have already endured so much in their short lives, are matched with the right person so they need never end up back in a rescue environment again.”
The RSPCA are appealing for any information that could help their investigation.