family in south London were left shocked after their nanny discovered a 5 ft-long python curled up on top of their kitchen boiler.
The RSPCA is searching for the owner of the reptile after the nanny, who was “quite scared”, found the snake at the home on Lucien Road, Tooting Bec, on September 13.
RSPCA animal rescue officer Abigail Campbell, who rescued the python along with colleague Mat Hawkins, said the RSPCA believe the snake had either escaped or was abandoned nearby.
“The nanny took Mat and I through to the kitchen, she was quite scared of the snake so kept well back. When I looked into the room I saw the python curled up on top of the boiler,” Ms Campbell said.
“He was most likely up there as it would have been the warmest part of the house and snakes need external heat sources to regulate their body temperature.
“The nanny believes he got into the boiler room through a gap in the wall from the garden.”
The RSPCA put up posters around the area to try and find the python’s owners but have not received any calls.
“We have not had anyone call in so are leaning towards the assumption he was abandoned,” Ms Campbell said.
She added: “I gave him a nudge just to make sure he wasn’t aggressive but he was very calm and allowed me to pick him up no problem, although he did cling on to the boiler pipe very tightly, he was very strong.
“He was very chilled and became somewhat lively once he had been picked up, looking around and smelling the air.”
The snake was placed in a snake bag and taken to South Essex Wildlife Hospital where he remains.
“Sadly it is not unusual for us to be called to collect an abandoned snake,” Ms Campbell said.
”Many people are unaware of how much of a commitment these animals are when they take them on, and we suspect the reality of caring for them has become too much in these cases.
“This is why we would encourage anyone thinking of getting an exotic pet to find out as much as possible about the animal’s needs and whether they’re the right pet for them.”
RSPCA recommends owners invest in an enclosure suitable for the species and that the enclosure is kept secure, and locked if necessary, when unattended.
“Reptiles, particularly snakes, can be extremely good escape artists and will take the opportunity of a gap in an enclosure door, or a loose-fitting lid,” the charity said.
Anyone with information about who owns the snake should call the RSPCA appeal line on 0300 123 8018.