The dead body of a 1.5-metre long snake, found at the side of a road in northwest France, has been identified as a python.
It was discovered on a small road close to the town of Mézangers in Mayenne (Pays de la Loire).
Motorist Alain Outin, who regularly uses the road, spotted the snake lying half on the road on January 7.
The picture in the Facebook post below shows the snake as it was found.
The gendarmes were contacted and the snake was taken to a veterinary clinic in the nearby town of Évron.
There the vet identified it as a python after initial thoughts it may be a boa constrictor.
“We are certain it is a python,” the vet told Ouest France.
“As it is not chipped, it is not possible to determine where it came from. It was in an advanced state of decomposition, suggesting that it was probably already dead when it was dropped off.”
The species is subject to strict ownership regulations in France. However, without the possibility of tracing it via a microchip, it will be difficult to find the owner and for an investigation to be launched.
The mayor of Mézangers, Robert Geslot, said locals were both worried and stunned by the discovery.
“It is not a snake you would typically find in our rural area,” he said.
“Has it escaped from someone who is breeding or keeping these as a pet?”
It is unlikely authorities will find out.