Manchester python: Police seek witnesses over mystery of 16ft snake found dead in canal

Experts say the reptile was big enough to attack a human

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Police are appealing for information after a 16ft python was found dead in a canal.

The snake may have been living in the wild for a number of days and a python of this size could have been capable of attacking a human, experts said.

The reptile, a reticulated python, was discovered by walkers floating in the canal near to Norden Bridge, Rishton, at around 4pm on Sunday.

A reptile expert attended the scene and recovered the python, which measured at over 16ft 5ins and is believed to have been around 12 to 15 years old.

Following an autopsy, the reptile showed signs of respiratory disease - which could have contributed to its death.

Lancashire Police are now investigating the circumstances surrounding how the python came to be in the canal and are appealing for anyone with any information to come forward.

It was thought to have between 12 and 15 years old

Ribble Valley wildlife crime officer Pc Carl Chew said: "Experts believe that a python of this size could have been capable of attacking a person so it is fortunate that no one came to any serious harm.

"There are specific offences under the Wildlife and Countryside Act and Animal Welfare Act in relation to releasing a python and we would urge anyone with any information as to where the python came from to contact us.

"It is a possibility that the python may have outgrown its home and owners can contact Pip Reptile Rescue if they require any help or advice about caring for or rehousing reptiles.

"Similarly, we would urge anyone thinking about getting rid of their pets, particularly those which may pose a risk to the public, to contact an animal charity for advice so that they can be rehomed safely and responsibly."


Python reticulatus, also known as the Asiatic reticulated python, are normally native to south east Asia and are the world's longest snakes.

They are non-venomous constrictors and normally not considered dangerous to humans - although large specimens have been known to kill humans.

Anyone with information can contact Lancashire Police on 101 quoting log number LC-20150301-0942.

Alternatively, they can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at No personal details are taken, information is not traced or recorded and you will not go to court.