A farmer discovered a Burmese python in the Wicklow Mountains National Park over the weekend.
The five-foot long snake – which is believed to be a female - was secured by a National Parks and Wildlife representative.
She was found to be underweight, dehydrated and injured and has been placed in the care of a reptile specialist, according to the ISPCA.
ISPCA Chief Inspector Conor Dowling commented: “In addition to the potentially illegal release of a non-native species, there are numerous possible offences under the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013.”
“This snake did not make its own way up the Wicklow Mountains and we believe that it was abandoned and left in an environment not suited to an animal of this type.”
“We suspect that it had been abandoned some days prior to her discovery but we also have reason to be concerned about the care that it was receiving prior to its release”.
The snake - named Sammi by rescuers - is described as “hanging in there” but it is still very uncertain as to whether she will pull through.
Slow, lingering deaths
Mr Dowling added: “Animals such as Sammi have very specialised environmental requirements and will suffer slow, lingering deaths in normal Irish weather conditions. During the exceptional summer last year, the ISPCA rescued two snakes which were active due to the warm weather.”
“It raises the question of how many animals of this type are out there dying slowly after being discarded by irresponsible owners that no longer want them.”
The ISPCA said it would like to see regulation of the breeding, selling and keeping of exotic pets.
Image source: ISPCA