The 29 snakes dumped in pillowcases in Sunderland worth hundreds of pounds, experts say

A reptile expert estimates that the pillowcases filled with a total of 29 snakes would have been worth hundreds of pounds if they’d been sold to a happy home rather than abandoned in the street.

Tuesday, 18th February 2020, 4:04 pm
Updated Tuesday, 18th February 2020, 6:02 pm

In a shocking incident, 13 royal pythons were found next to a bin near Farringdon Fire Station on Thursday, Feburary 13, dumped in two Buzz Lightyear themed pillowcases.

Sadly one of the pythons later died but the other 12 were recovering well at a vets in Darlington.

An RSPCA appeal was launched to find the person responsible for abandoning the snakes and leaving them from dead in such chilly conditions.

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An RSPCA appeal has been launched. Second batch of snakes found in same Sunderland street.

But in a shocking twist, another 16 snakes - 15 corn snakes and a carpet python - were found again in pillow cases dumped in the same bin just three days later on Saturday, February 15.

Now a snake expert has spoken out about the ‘shocking and upsetting’ incident and estimated the value of the pets.

Andrew Nickerson, managing director of Reptile Hotel in Birtley, said: “Royal Pythons tend to sell for £40 or more depending on the patterns and colours. There were some snakes with lovely patterns dumped.

“A carpet python comes from Australia and can grow up to 6ft and 10ft long – they sell from £69 plus.”

The first set of 13 snakes found in Sunderland

Corn snakes are cheaper to purchase but the combined worth of the reptiles found in the pillowcases is estimated to be worth more than £600.

Andrew, of South Shields, said: “These snakes are definitely not ones to be scared of.

“I think it’s really saddening to see especially with the new laws that trading standard laws that are being put in place for reptiles.

“It’s really shocking to see that this is happening to really nice animals that otherwise would have been well cared for.

“To see them dumped like that is really shocking and upsetting.

“There are lots of reptile rescue centres or people can hand snakes in to pet store’s like us. We’ve re-homed a lot of royal python’s recently with great success.

“I just hope that it doesn’t happen again.”