Nov. 14 (UPI) -- A snake found by workers at a sewage plant in Britain turned out to be a venomous species from South America, animal rescuers said.
The RSPCA said an exotic animal specialist was dispatched to Thames Water sewage works in Basingstoke, England, after employees reported a snake found on a path.
"It almost certainly wasn't flushed down a toilet as there's no way it would have survived -- our machinery which filters out everything other than pee, poo and paper would have killed it. I can only fathom it was released or escaped," sewage works manager Kenny Masters said.
RSPCA Animal Welfare Officer Justine Hermon said the exotic animal specialist, Phil Hamilton, was surprised to identify the snake as a false water cobra, a venomous species native to South America. The species' name refers to the hood on its neck, which resembles that of a cobra.
"We have now taken the snake to a nearby specialist facility where it will be cared for it until its owner can be tracked down or it can be rehomed," Hermon said. "Thankfully, it is in good condition and is eating well. We're grateful to the Thames Water staff who found the snake and got in touch as this snake would not have fared well in the cold weather."