Police say they are 'exploring avenues of enquiry' that could link two snakes found on the loose a few miles apart - after a second Burmese python was discovered.

As previously reported, a Burmese Python was found in a lane close to the Monkton Wyld Holiday Park in west Dorset on Tuesday, June 11. It's suspected it was abandoned.

It was eventually rescued by Simon Prentice of Phelsuma Farm in Somerset.

On Saturday, June 15, another Burmese Python was found - around 12 miles away on Northcote Hill in Honiton, east Devon - with injuries to its neck.

The snake was subsequently taken to a nearby vets but was unfortunately put down due to the injury it suffered.

Given the close proximity, and the fact that both snakes belonged to the same species, police are investigating whether the incidents could be connected.

Devon and Cornwall Police are currently appealing for information from the public.  

Inspector Ollie Heaton said: “We received a report on Saturday, June 15, in relation to a snake that was located on Northcote Hill, Honiton. The snake has been identified as a Burmese Python. On initial discovery, the animal was alive but had sustained an injury by unknown means. The animal was taken to a vets but unfortunately had to be put down due to the level of injury that it had suffered.

“We are aware of another large Burmese Python that was discovered near Monkton Wyld Holiday Park in Dorset. The relative proximity and the fact that these animals are of the same species is one avenue of enquiry that we are exploring, although at this time there is no information to suggest any direct link. Thankfully the animal located in Dorset remains well and has found a new home in Somerset."

Inspector Heaton added: “There are a number of hypotheses being explored at this time; firstly, that the animal has escaped and come to harm after this event, secondly, that the animal has been mis-treated, neglected, injured and then dumped, and thirdly, whether the animal has been abandoned due to difficulties in providing care, and has subsequently come to harm.

“Whilst we have no conclusive information to point towards any one of the above hypotheses, we would urge anyone who is having difficulty providing care for an animal to contact any Animal Refuge Centres that can be found online.

“The National Centre for Reptile Welfare can assist in providing rehoming advice and contact. We would strongly urge that people do not abandon any animal; they are afforded statutory protections and deserve to be treated with due care, respect and dignity.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact the police, quoting incident 50240146418.