Eight foot boa, two iguanas in reptile haul
A NOAH’S Ark of reptiles have been uncovered across South West Wales.
In the last three weeks alone an eight foot boa, a three foot iguana, two adders and several corn snakes, have all been found in the area.
The discoveries come after Swansea woman Sue Cull was bitten by a python on her way home from a pub as police were searching for the snake in Dyfatty.
Llanelli-based Geraint Hopkins, who voluntarily collects the reptiles, said he had seen a rise of exotic creatures being uncovered in the area.
He said: “In the last two weeks in South Wales I’ve picked up an eight foot boa, a large iguana that was around three feet.
“I’ve found two adders and quite a few corn snakes in the Dyfed-Powys Police and South Wales area.
“I’ve picked up a lot of grass snakes — around 10 this year alone.”
He added: “I’ve had three or four calls a day over the last three weeks.
“Some have been found in people’s gardens and there was a grass snake found in a woman’s house.
“I’ve noticed more people are losing reptiles and exotic creatures recently.
“It’s getting more like America and there is a lot of people who do not have the knowledge to keep exotic pets.”
Mr Hopkins said reptiles tended to be “escape artists” and that snakes knew how to get out from their tanks.
He added that he wasn’t 100 per cent sure what had bitten Ms Cull, 47, as she took a short cut over the grass to her Griffith John Street address.
She originally thought she had walked through nettles when she felt the stinging sensation on both her legs.
But when she couldn’t stem the flow of blood from her legs her partner Kay rang 999.
When the paramedic arrived Ms Cull was told that it was a snake bite.
Ms Cull said: “When I got to the hospital they rang the Medical Reptile Unit in London which told them to measure the bite and they then confirmed it was a python.”
The paramedic was informed by the police that an eight to 10 foot python had gone missing in Dyfatty following the incident on Thursday night.
Mr Hopkins added: “It could be potentially anything that has bitten the woman — it could be something like a corn snake, a rat snake, or a grass snake — but it’s rare that they bite.”
A South Wales Police spokesman said: “Police received a report of a lost python in the Cwm Road area of Swansea on Thursday night at 10.44pm.
“It was found just over 30 minutes later.
“No other reports of missing reptiles have been received.”