Walkers at an East Sussex nature reserve got a shock when they came across a three foot long python.
The snake - a Royal Python, was seen close to a path at Rye Harbour Nature Reserve in Rye, East Sussex last Thursday.
The snake is non-venomous and a typically docile species which poses no threat to people or dogs.
It is likely to be a pet snake that has escaped.
A spokesperson from the reserve said: “Please let us know if it is seen again. It needs to be caught, otherwise it will not survive the winter.”
The Royal Python, also called the Ball Python is a python species found in sub-Saharan Africa.
It is the smallest of the African pythons and is popular in the pet trade, largely due to its small size and typically docile temperament. The name “ball python” refers to the animal’s tendency to curl into a ball when stressed or frightened.
A common belief is that the name “royal python” comes from the legend that rulers in Africa, especially Cleopatra, would wear the python as jewellery.