Reptile enthusiast says Stalham snake was abandoned and may grow to 30ft long

The python found near the Mermaid's Slipper in Stalham. Picture: Richard Mottram

The python found near the Mermaid's Slipper in Stalham. Picture: Richard Mottram - Credit: Archant

A reptile enthusiast has revealed that Stalham's newest slithery resident may grow to 30ft long.

Matthew Hooghwinkel headshot. Picture: Matthew Hooghwinkel.

Matthew Hooghwinkel headshot. Picture: Matthew Hooghwinkel. - Credit: Matthew Hooghwinkel

A 9ft-long python was discovered wrapped around a rock in Stalham on Friday, July 7.

The python was discovered by walkers in Sutton Road, Stalham, who went into the Mermaid's Slipper restaurant to ask for a potato sack to put the reptile in.

Since then, owner Richard Mottram has kept the snake in a wheelie bin until it can be picked up by the RSPCA.

'Obviously it has escaped from somewhere which is slightly worrying,' said Mr Mottram. 'It is clearly tame but it is very, very strong. It wrapped itself around my arm and I could feel the strength in it.

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'It's not every day you find a 9ft python by Stalham Broad. It's just a good job it didn't get into anyone's boat.'

Great Yarmouth resident Matthew Hooghwinkel, who keeps several snakes, believes the pet was abandoned by its owners.

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Mr Hooghwinkel, 26, said: 'At that size this python would be eating small rabbits, but the problem is not a lot of people know where to get small rabbits.

'From what I've read I'd say it's been abandoned by its owners, maybe driven there and left.

'From its size I'd say that this is a reticulated python which is about four years old.

'Reticulated pythons are the second largest constrictors in the world, after anacondas. If it's well fed they can grow up to 30ft long in captivity.

'They can get aggressive which can scare people off them, but that's usually around their food.

'They can also be dangerous in situations like this if they haven't eaten well. In the wild these snakes will eat anything - rodents all the way up to alligators or deer.

'Snakes have to be kept in certain conditions in an enclosure which usually have wooden or glass doors and walls. Maybe a snake would escape a garage into a house, but I think this has been deliberately left.'

Mr Hooghwinkel, who is a scaffolder, has promised the pet a home should the owner not come forward.

He said: 'I've got a couple like that already and would be happy to take another in.'

See our previous story here.

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