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Killer snake found in Selsdon Wood

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THE shock discovery of a 15-foot monster python just metres from a primary school and a cluster of family homes left Selsdon residents "dumbstruck".

Bill Draper, of Kingfisher Gardens, stumbled across the slippery customer – a reticulated python more commonly found in the more exotic climes of Asia – in Selsdon Wood on Saturday.

He said: "On Friday night I heard the foxes going mad and thought I should investigate.

"I went out first thing on Saturday morning and came across this monstrous snake in the bomb crater at the edge of the wood.

"It was about 20 foot and I just thought 'God almighty!' - it's the biggest snake I have ever seen."

Mr Draper ran to his neighbour, Ken Wills, who went back to the scene with him to investigate.

"We were absolutely dumbstruck to find it – it's something you expect from far away, not in a wood near Croydon," he said.

"I don't know how long it's been there but it's been quite warm and it hasn't rotted much.

"We called the council and they came out to look at it. They have said they don't want to move it so apparently they will just bury it there.

"We can put a plaque up – Monty the Python."

A snake expert at the London Zoo, Iri Gill, identified the serpent as a reticulated python, the world's longest constrictor, native to South East Asia.

He said; "The largest on record is 34 feet but it looks like this one is anywhere between 15 and 20.

"They are quite common as pets – there are no restrictions on buying them.

"There are a number of answers as to how this snake got here – it could have died in someone's care and they decided to dump it, or someone could have killed it then dumped it.

"If it had been alive and this size, it could get quite interesting if a small child walked by.

"They are constrictors and could easily kill a child or a dog."

The head of next-door Greenvale Primary School, Dan Bowdon, said it was extremely "shocking to hear a creature like this was found near our children.

"Obviously, if we found a snake like this alive near the playground, the first thing we would do is make sure all the children were safe and get them inside.

"I can't believe you don't have to have licences for animals like this, it's so irresponsible."

A Croydon Council spokesman said that "because of the state of decomposition, we will bury the snake on site".

"For certain animals a license is required from the council and this must be renewed annually," he added.

The list of animals needing licences includes relatively harmless creatures including badgers and otters, but not the reticulated python.

Killer snake found in Selsdon Wood


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