RIVER police have fished out the body of a three metre long python, weighing nearly 40kg, from the Seine.
Officers from the Brigade fluviale were called in after passers-by spotted an animal in the water and discovered the adult snake in an advanced state of decomposition. The head was missing.
The Préfecture de Police said it was a "sad end for one of these new-style pets". Once they outgrow the house such pets, which are little adapted for life outside their normal environments, are just dumped - often in the Seine or the Bois de Boulogne.
It is not the first time the river police - called la Fluv' - has pulled animals from the water. Over the years since it was founded in 1900 officers have found cows, calves and sheep.
But they also find human bodies - over the past 12 months they have recovered a body nearly every week.
The discovery of the snake at Quai Marcel Dassault, Saint Cloud, is a bit of a shock for those planning to attempt the first Paris Swim - Paris à la Nage - on September 9.
This year's event, the first for years after the water became too polluted, will take a 10km route across the city from the Joséphine Baker swimming pool to André Citroën Park. A 2.5km event will start from the base of the Eiffel Tower.
Photo: Préfecture de Police de Paris