Essex

Stowaway snake found in Purfleet lorry from India

Snake in a box Image copyright RSPCA
Image caption The runaway reptile survived a long journey with no food or water, the RSPCA said

A snake was found in the back of a lorry after travelling thousands of miles from India.

The slithery stowaway was discovered by staff at a freight company in Purfleet, Essex.

The RSPCA said it was believed to be an "Indian cat-eyed snake, or boiga, which is mildly venomous".

It is thought the runaway reptile had travelled more than 4,700 miles (7,600km) in the lorry, but despite that, it was in good health.

"Staff [at the Essex depot] said the lorry had travelled from India, so it's likely the snake had been on board for more than 7,600km," RSPCA animal collection officer David Eckworth said.

"Luckily, this snake survived a very long journey, despite no obvious signs that he had access to food, water or appropriate heat."

The hitchhiking hisser, which was found last week, is now in the care of staff at the charity's rescue centre in Brighton.

It will be re-homed at a later date "to a specialist keeper with the necessary knowledge and facilities to care for him properly", the RSPCA officer added.

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