A 14-foot snake has been rescued after it was found slithering around rural West Dorset.

The snake, which has been identified as a Burmese python, was spotted around the Monkton Wyld Holiday Park in West Dorset on Tuesday, June 11.

Local resident, Peter Bacon, was one of the first to spot the reptile, and pulled his van over to take a picture. He said: “I was driving when I saw this humongous snake which is something you normally don’t see every day.

The snake was spotted near Monkton Wyld Holiday Park (Image: Peter Bacon)

“I stopped the van, turned it off and took a picture to show my wife, and to put it on Facebook in the hopes that someone would recognise it.

“There were a lot of people around it, who looked to have reported it to the proper authorities.”

Soon after, Simon Prentice, owner of the Phelsuma Farm in Ilton, Somerset was contacted by Coombefield Vets in Axminster, after the holiday park was alerted to the creature by guests who were taking a walk along the road.

Mr Prentice, said: “I received a call saying that a massive Burmese Python was down the lane from the holiday park. At first, I thought it was a hoax, or someone was exaggerating the size but it was a 14 foot python.

“It weighs a tonne, we haven’t weighed it officially, but it took three of us to lift it into the van.”

According to Mr Prentice a previous owner recognised the female python, which is believed to be imported from Germany around 2018. The previous owner told Mr Prentice that they sold the reptile during lockdown. The species is native to Burma, India and South East Asia, is not venomous, and is a constrictor.

After contacting the National Centre for Reptile Welfare, who said they would be happy to take the snake, Mr Prentice has decided to keep it and has now started a JustGiving page to raise funds to build an enclosure big enough for the python.

He said: “There is a significant outlay needed for the enclosure. We are planning to start the work on Saturday for a 12 foot long enclosure floor to ceiling with a water feature.

“We need to buy all the lighting, heating and wooden panels. For now she is being kept in the largest room we have which has enough warmth to keep comfortable.”

So, far £372 has been raised since the campaign was launched. 

Phelsuma Farm is a specialist reptile shop and breeding centre, specialising in Day Geckos since 1988. They offer reptile and exotic animal supplies, and advice on a range of reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates.

If you would like to support the JustGiving fundraiser, visit https://shorturl.at/UyLHC