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Boa in a box dumped at Brighton animal rescue
A large snake has ended up at a rescue centre after being dumped in Brighton.
The 6ft (1.8m) boa constrictor was found abandoned at the gates of the RSCPA animal rescue centre.
When the female snake was left she was in a cardboard box and staff opened it having no idea what was inside.
Supervisor Clare Hyre said: “We had no idea at all what was inside.
“Then as we started to open the box up this long tail shot out.
“I got quite a fright. In the 12 years I have worked here I have never seen anything like it.
“It was lucky that we found this snake when we did, the box could easily have been missed and she was lucky to be alive.
“There were no air holes in the box or any of the temperature controls needed to keep a snake like this healthy.”
The boa is a female which can grow up to 10ft (3m) in length and live for up to 30 years.
She has already been found a new home with a specialist keeper.
Keith Wells, RSPCA manager at Patcham, added: “This boa was in good condition and had clearly been well looked after, but it seems the owner just was not willing or able to care for her anymore.
“People need to think carefully before taking on a pet like this. You can come across a boa in a pet shop and it’s a tiny little snake, just 12in (30cm) long.
“But they get bigger and bigger until the owner suddenly finds they have a massive animal on their hands which they do not have space for.
“Lots of people tell me they suddenly get a bit scared of the snake when they grow as well.”