Hiss-teria as African dream comes true on London street
Picture of boa constrictor gobbling a pigeon on a busy pavement sends Twitter into thrill overdrive
A Londoner spent a very long time traipsing through Tanzania hoping to see a snake in the wild, but it turns out he simply had to stroll down to his local baker.
Dave Fawbert, of Leytonstone in east London, spotted a boa constrictor devouring a pigeon while he was walking home along the High Road on Saturday.
His picture of the al fresco moment, which drew screams from passers-by on the busy street, has been retweeted more than 4,500 times.
The tropical snake is thought may be an abandoned pet and was rescued by the RSPCA. It is being assessed at a wildlife centre.
A spokesperson said it appeared someone had found a dead pigeon and fed it to the snake.Fawbert, editor of shortlist.com, wrote on the magazine’s website: “I was reminded that, on a safari trip to Tanzania in 2011, I spent a large proportion of time desperately hoping to see a snake in the wild and had no luck. Turns out I just needed to go walking in Leytonstone instead.”
RSPCA inspector Rebecca Bedson said: “We received a call yesterday morning reporting a stray snake in High Road, Leytonstone. I arrived to find the boa constrictor in a box and transported him to a wildlife centre where he is currently being assessed.“I’m very keen to find out how he came to be in such a dangerous situation. Exposed like that on a street could have meant anything might have happened to him; he could have been run over by a car or attacked by another animal.
“It might be that he is an escaped pet, or, more worryingly, someone may have deliberately dumped him and left him to fend for himself.”
The charity said that it is encountering widespread neglect of reptiles as many people are unaware of how much of a commitment these animals are when they take them on. As a result they now rescue hundreds each year.