A family in London was left startled after their nanny found a 5-foot-long python snake sleeping in their kitchen earlier this month.
The reptile was found inside the family’s house on top of the kitchen boiler in Tooting Bec, a borough of south London, on September 13, the Daily Express reported Saturday. After discovering the reptile, the family’s nanny called the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA), an animal welfare charity that focuses on rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming or releasing animals across England and Wales.
The RSPCA described the snake as “slightly skinny” and took it to the South Essex Wildlife Hospital where it is being taken care of.
Animal rescue officer Abigail Campbell told BBC News that the snake had probably made its way to the boiler because “it would have been the warmest part of the house and snakes need external heat sources to regulate their body temperature.”
“The nanny took [us] through to the kitchen, she was quite scared of the snake so kept well back. The nanny believes he got into the boiler room through a gap in the wall from the garden,” Campbell added.
According to the RSPCA, the python likely escaped or was abandoned. The RSPCA said it is currently searching for its owner, adding that it’s not unusual for them to be called to collect an abandoned snake.
“We believe many people are unaware of how much of a commitment these animals are when they take them on, and we suspect the reality of caring for them has become too much in these cases,” Campbell said.
The RSPCA said they had put up “Animal Found” posters around the area to try to find the owner.
Pythons have flexible jaws, rows of razor sharp teeth, and have a range of impressive features that make them formidable predators. Despite the potential dangers of being around pythons, there are still some people who prefer to own a reptile as a pet.
However, for those looking to invest in caring for reptiles as a pet, RSPCA advises that caring for them properly can be difficult and recommends before deciding to get an exotic pet to do plenty of research, while also warning that some species should not be kept as pets.
“Exotic animals can have more complex needs than your average domestic pet. Many exotic pets need a carefully controlled environment. For example, access to specialized heating and lighting to stop them from becoming ill,” RSPCA states on its website.
Newsweek reached out to the RSPCA via email for comment.
Meanwhile, this incident is the next in a long list of many snakes continuously being found in various places across the world. From a wildlife conservationist in Australia finding a snake drinking from a dog bowl earlier this month to a snake attempting to climb a family’s porch in North Carolina in July.