The Independent London Newspaper
19th May 2019

RSPCA appeal for help in mystery over python found by roadsweeper in Highgate's celebrity row

    The python found in Highgate this week

    Published: 17 November, 2016

    AN exotic python has been found on the loose by roadsweepers in Highgate – and now the RSPCA are hoping readers of the New Journal can help solve the mystery of how it got there.

    The Town Hall cleaners were on their daily rounds in The Grove – home to celebrities including George Michael, Jude Law and Kate Moss – when they came across the metre-long reptile on Tuesday morning.

    So far no one has reported the snake as missing, prompting fears that an unscrupulous owner decided they no longer wanted the animal – nicknamed Monty by the binmen who found it  – and simply dumped the unfortunate creature in the street. 

    Binman Tony – who did not want to give his last name – called the RSPCA and then stood guard over the snake, which can grow to a metre-and-a-half in length, while experts scrambled to collect it.

    He said: “We got a right surprise. It was curled up and very still – the poor thing looked very cold.”

    A woman walking her child to school nearly stepped on the royal python, which hails from central Africa, but instead of leaping with fright the woman helped the binmen secure it. 

    They said: “She told us she was from Australia, so she was used to this sort of thing.” 

    The pair put a plastic box over it and waited for RSPCA to staff to rush to Highgate to keep it safe.

    Royal pythons can live for more than 20 years and usually feed on mice and rats. The RSPCA warned that they can give people a nasty bite if they feel threatened, and enjoy basking in temperatures of around 30 degrees.

    An RSPCA spokeswoman said: “The python must have been kept as a pet, but we do not know if it has escaped or been abandoned. 

    “You would expect someone to notice if their snake had disappeared. We do not know what sex it is. It is now recovering from its ordeal at the South Essex Wildlife Hospital while we see if its owner comes forward.”

    If anyone has any information about Monty, call the RSPCA on 0300 1238018.



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