Snake owners have been warned to be extra vigilant with their pets during the summer, as these reptiles have a habit of escaping when the weather gets hot.
The RSPCA reported there were as many as 1,219 incidences of missing pet snakes in 2021, with an average of six calls from worried owners every day. The busiest months were June, July and August, due to the fact that heat makes the animals more active.
After the intense heatwave earlier this month, when temperatures broke records by hitting 40.3 degrees Celsius, the charity has advised snake owners to make sure their pets are contained so they do not try to escape.
Scientific officer for the RSPCA Evie Button said: “Snakes are excellent escape artists and will take the opportunity of a gap in an enclosure door, or a loose-fitting lid to make a break for it.”
She even advised locking the enclosure for extra security when left unattended, and being particularly careful when taking them outside during the summer months
“They can warm up and move very quickly on a sunny day,” Ms Button added.
Losing a pet is not just very upsetting, but it can put the snake at risk of harm, as they require very specific heating, lighting, and food to survive. Without these conditions, they are likely to develop serious diseases, become dehydrated or get injured.
It is not just snakes that pet owners have to be vigilant about, as the RSPCA revealed nearly 10,000 pets were reported as lost last year, which can be “devastating” for their owners.
Find out more about microchipping pets to protect them from going missing.