The snake that was found near a roadside in the Montes de Malaga. / SUR

This is the moment a three-metre-long python was safely captured by police in Malaga

Local officers have warned that anyone found abandoning exotic animals can face hefty fines of up to 300,000 euros

EUROPA PRESS

Specialists from Malaga's Local Police force have safely captured a three-metre-long python snake that was found near a roadside in the Montes de Malaga.

A resident alerted a rural ranger to the presence of the molurus python near the MA-3111 road, which connects the towns of Olías and Colmenar. The ranger then called in the specialist team from the Local Police force’s Grupona nature protection group to deal with the serpent.

The snake was sighted at around 8 am on Tuesday, 2 November, and when the officers arrived on the scene they found the reptile partially hiding in bushes. With the use of a snake-catching device the team worked to restrain and carefully capture the serpent without harming it. Once controlled, it was introduced into a carrier, the most delicate part of the operation, as the reptile tried to resist.

Eventually, the snake was transferred to the municipal animal welfare shelter, where it was found to be in good condition and weighed about eight kilos. The Local Police have approached several different animal associations to take care of the reptile.

The molurus python can grow up to six-metres-long and weigh up to one hundred kilos. Also known as the Indian python, it typically has a triangular head, that is small in size compared to the length of its body.

It lives in humid environments and kills its prey by biting and then using constriction or strangulation, swallows them whole, by dislocating the jaw and stretching the skin around it. That allows it to feed on large prey, although mainly it is rodents.

This species represents a very low risk for human beings, with deaths being associated almost entirely with the handling of the animal as a pet and not with unprovoked attacks.

Malaga’s Local Police have warned of the risk of introducing or abandoning exotic and invasive animals into the wild, and can carry fines of up to 300,000 euros for serious cases, and even, prison sentences.

Before abandoning them, the force recommends that people who have non-native animals, contact the appropriate agencies, such as the Malaga Local Police or municipal animal welfare centre for information about how to rehouse them.