A pair of 4ft long snakes have been found in a sleepy Sussex village within a week of each other – with rumours that a third is on the loose.

One of the snakes was found curled up in a bush by a horse rider and was recovered by the RSPCA.

The discovery on September 24 comes just six days after another snake was recovered in West Ashling, near Chichester, where the second reptile was recovered from a nearby field.

The RSPCA was also called to reports of another 3.5ft long snake but when they arrived it was nowhere to be seen.

Claire Thomas, the animal rescue officer who recovered the royal pythons, said: “It’s not very often that we get called out to incidents involving large stray snakes so it may be that these incidents are related, though we cannot be sure at this stage.

The Argus: One of the snakes found in the villageOne of the snakes found in the village (Image: RSPCA)

“We don’t want to cause panic to anyone as royal pythons are not venomous snakes. It concerns us that these snakes have been outdoors just as the weather is getting cooler, as snakes need to be kept warm.”

The RSPCA added that they have not been able to confirm if the reports are linked.


Many of the snakes found by the RSPCA are thought to be escaped pets.

Snakes are dependent on their owners and are unable to survive in the wild without the correct heating, lighting and food. Royal pythons can suffer from injuries and serious diseases and would eventually die if left in the wild.

Evie Button, the RSPCA’s senior scientific adviser, said: “Snakes are excellent escape artists and will take the opportunity of a gap in an enclosure door, or a loose-fitting lid to make a break for it.

“Last year, we took more than one thousand reports about snakes, with the highest number of calls coming in during the summer months. This is not surprising, as snakes become more active during hot weather.

“The RSPCA urges all pet snake owners to be extra vigilant, invest in an enclosure suitable for the particular species and make sure that enclosure is kept secure - and locked if necessary - when unattended."