July 1, 2019 / 3:55 PM / 8 months ago

UK police end search for missing three-meter python

LONDON (Reuters) - British police gave up their search for a nearly three-meter python on Monday after concluding that it posed a risk only to small animals and not people in the English university city of Cambridge where it was last seen.

The 9-foot-long (2.7-metre) reticulated python, a species that is native to Asia and is the longest snake in the world, was last spotted slithering on a street in the north of the city in the early hours of Sunday.

“We have had no further sightings of a reticulated python reported in Cambridge,” police said on Monday. “The snake is only a risk to small creatures.”

The python, which kills its prey by constriction rather than venom, normally eats mammals such as rats, but there have been several reported human fatalities in the wild and captivity.

Police have said they have located the owner of the python but have provided no further details.

“If anyone finds a snake they believe is non-native the RSPCA’s advice is to keep a safe distance, monitor the snake and call the charity’s helpline,” a spokesman for the RSPCA animal welfare charity said.

Reporting by Bella Barber; Editing by Michael Holden and Frances Kerry

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