A RESIDENT was given a shock when they went to take some rubbish to their bin earlier this week and found a snake dumped in their wheelie bin.

The snake was found in the bottom of the bin in Pembroke Street, West Bowling, and the RSPCA was called.

The young snake - also known as a snakelet - was taken to a reptile centre for specialist care.

A spokesperson for the RSPCA said: “The caller must have had quite the shock - the last thing you expect to see when you go to put your rubbish out is a snake slithering around inside the bin.

“We asked them to confine the snake by shutting the lid of the bin and I went along to collect the little snakelet.

“Locals had no idea where the corn snake had come from and it’s unclear whether it has escaped from a home nearby or whether it has been abandoned.

“Unfortunately, given that the snake was found inside a wheelie bin - with no obvious way of getting in or out of the bin - I suspect it has been dumped which is very sad.”

Anyone with any information about where the snake may have come from or who thinks the snake may be their escaped pet should contact the RSPCA’s appeal line on 0300 123 8018.

Nicola White, RSPCA exotics senior scientific officer, said: “We are seeing a worrying number of snakes coming into our centres, because owners are no longer able to care for them.

“The main thing we want to stress to people who are thinking about bringing an exotic pet into their family is to think before they buy - research the needs of the animal thoroughly and make sure that you can provide everything that animal needs for the animal’s entire life.

“We want to make sure these animals, who have already endured so much in their short lives, are matched with the right person so they need never end up back in a rescue environment again.”

The RSPCA said it currently has dozens of snakes in its care, and is searching for experiences homes to take them in.