ANIMAL welfare officers are calling for witnesses after the decomposing carcass of a 10ft snake was found in the canal at Huncoat.
The RSPCA had to contact canal officials yesterday to remove the dead animal as it was so rotten that they could not pick it up.
A resident who lives near the site, off Altham Lane, noticed the huge body at around 8pm on Sunday evening.
He said that he was ‘sickened’ by the sight and took a photograph of the animal before reporting it to the authorities.
The dog walker said: “There are some parking spaces and a small hump back bridge over the canal.
“I was walking in the direction of Accrington, with the canal on my left, walking past the fields with the cows and the sheep and just on the bend, there it was for all to see, close to the tow path.
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“It seems to me like someone had dumped it there when it got too big to feed. Or maybe it had been stolen from somewhere.
“It’s a shame that it ended up there as it would have been a beautiful animal. “It looked like it had been there a while and I was just sickened by it.” Inspector Charlotte Brooker from the RSPCA said: “This is a very uncommon case and they are not very popular pets.
“It’s unclear whether or not it went in the canal dead or alive and it is so badly rotten that it will be difficult for us to establish what happened by post mortem.
“We would be very keen to hear from anyone who witnessed anything at all.
“The animal is 10ft long but we cannot ascertain the exact species.
“It is obviously an animal that has been kept as a pet and not something that would naturally be found near the canal. It could be that someone has dumped their pet in the canal so as to avoid the charges of disposing of it or it could be something more sinister but we can only speculate at this stage.
“The water ways will have to come and clear it because it is far too badly decomposed for us to move it.”
Anyone with any information at all is urged to call the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999.