No Essex Lion – but there really is a deadly snake

One of the world's deadliest snakes was discovered lurking inside a shipping container that had passed through a port in Essex.

The 18in saw-scaled viper had been hidden in the container at Tilbury Docks for several weeks during a voyage from India.

The species is highly aggressive and venomous.

Although not the world's most poisonous, the viper is seen as one of South Asia's deadliest because it is often found close to inhabited areas.

The snake was reported to the South Essex Wildlife Hospital, which sent in a reptile expert to recover the creature. The viper, which can grow to 3ft, will be looked after at the hospital until a suitable home can be found for it.

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