Page last updated at 18:35 GMT, Friday, 5 December 2008

Dead snakes found draped on tree

One of the snakes, pic courtesy of RSPCA
It is not known what happened to the snakes

Two dead pythons have been found hanging from a tree in a country park.

The snakes were discovered draped over branches in Chasewater Country Park in Staffordshire last month, an RSPCA spokesman said.

It is thought they were dead before being placed on the tree but if abandoned in the wild they would have died in the cold weather, they added.

Inspectors described the discovery as a "total mystery". Anyone with information is urged to call the RSPCA.

A member of the countryside team from Lichfield District Council found the pythons early one morning and took pictures before calling the RSPCA.

'Really strange'

After seeing the photographs, Tim Thomas, from the RSPCA wildlife department, said he was baffled by their deaths.

"This really is a strange one and I cannot shed any light on how the snakes were found dead," he said.

"Pythons are not native to this country so must have been owned by someone.

"From the pictures it would appear that they were dead before they were placed on the tree but if they had been abandoned in the wild they would certainly have died from the recent very cold conditions."

He urged anyone considering taking on an exotic pet to thoroughly research the needs and requirements of the species beforehand.

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