FARMER Dick Scott had a shock when he stumbled upon two pythons that had been dumped outside his farm.

Last Monday, two 10ft long dead pythons were found in a ditch outside Bentham House Farm in Purton.

Mr Scott found them covered by grass in a ditch near the entrance to one of his fields when he was on his tractor.

He said: “Something caught the corner of my eye, a place down in the ditch.

“There was something covered up with dead grass.

“There to my absolute surprise was what I thought at the time to be one python.

“I was quite shocked – it’s not every day you see two dead pythons like that.

“After looking at them it was quite clear they were both dead.

“The only thing I thought is that they could have gone into a coma because they were cold, but you could soon smell that they’d been decomposing.

“I imagine what had happened is that somebody had them as pets but they had got too big for the incubator and they’ve been dumped.”

Mr Scott contacted the parish council and was advised to contact the Environmental Health Department at Wiltshire Council, but they could not help.

In the end, the parish council arranged for the snakes to be taken to Purton Vets for disposal.

Mr Scott lifted them out of the ditch with his forklift and it took two parish council ground staff to lift the snakes, which were intertwined and weighed about 21kg each, into cremation bags and into a van to transport them to the vets.

Shirley Bevington, clerk to Purton Parish Council, said: “It’s not clear if the snakes were alive or dead when they were dumped. They were covered with grass cuttings either to hide them or to try to keep them warm.

“The vet advised us to take care when handling them as they can carry diseases such as salmonella.

“This is clearly a very sad case of neglect and a sorry way for these magnificent reptiles to be treated.”

Vet Graham Pack said: “I think who ever had these snakes euthanised them themselves and ditched them to avoid the cost of having them cremated.

“Pythons get so large – people buy them as smaller snakes but as they grow they can’t house them any more.

“All there is to do is for them to be euthanised or housed in some sort of zoo collection.

“My advice would be not to buy a python in the first place.”