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Media Centre Latest News Unusual discovery in a chamber at Caernarfon Waste Water Treatment Works

Unusual discovery in a chamber at Caernarfon Waste Water Treatment Works


A large snake that could have been flushed down a toilet has been rescued by RSPCA Cymru, after being found by unsuspecting colleagues at Llanllyfni Wastewater Treatment Works.

Keith Bridge, Maintenance Engineer, spotted the snake down a chamber in the sewage system at the Treatment Works and alerted the RSPCA, who confirmed that it was a Carolina corn snake.

It is believed the snake entered the sewage system after escaping via a toilet, or being flushed down one.
Keith Bridge said, “We took the cover off the manhole and saw this ‘pink thing’! I looked closer and realised that it was a snake. It was around three to four foot and while I didn’t know if it was poisonous or not, I knew that it wasn’t from this country. This was the last thing I expected to see in the sewer and I was worried that it would get hurt if we didn’t remove it. I contacted the RSPCA immediately and they responded quickly to rescue the snake.”
RSPCA inspector Andrew Broadbent attended soon after the call, and managed to retrieve the snake from the chamber.

Fortunately, the snake appeared bright, alert and unharmed by the ordeal – and was kept in RSPCA care overnight before being transferred to specialist facilities.

RSPCA Cymru say the incident acts as “another timely reminder” as to the challenges of caring for exotic animals, and have highlighted to those owning snakes the importance of appropriate accommodation.

RSPCA inspector Andrew Broadbent said: “This was certainly an unusual call to deal with.”

“I arrived at the scene to find the adult Carolina corn snake perched on a metal assembly a few inches above the raw sewage flowing into the works. With the assistance of colleagues, I was able to reach down and retrieve the snake.

“It seems likely this snake was escaped down a toilet, or was flushed down one – so we’re urging anyone with information about where this snake may have come from to contact our inspectorate appeal line on 0300 123 8018. Calls are treated in confidence.”

Reptiles appear to have increased in popularity as pets and the number of related incidents dealt with by the RSPCA has gone up in recent years. They are completely reliant on their owners to provide the correct environment for the species, including heating and lighting, and so it is lucky this snake was found. 

For further information on how to care for exotic animals such as reptiles, visit http://www.rspca.org.uk/exotics