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Deadly snake found at Tilbury Docks
3:00pm Friday 31st August 2012 in News
THE world’s deadliest snake is being looked after in Grays after it made its way onto a giant shipping container from India.
Volunteers at the South Essex Wildlife Hospital took in the saw-scaled viper after workers at Tilbury Docks spotted the reptile.
Despite being small this type of snake are responsible for more human deaths than any other breed due to their aggressive nature and lethal vemon.
When hospital founder Sue Schwar got the emergency call she never expected she would be leaving with such a deadly creature.
She said: “The guys at Tilbury Docks opened the container and saw it, but slammed the doors straight away because they were obviously worried about what it was. It was only once we got there and removed it that we realised it was such a dangerous snake.
“It certainly makes the day a bit different to the usual calls for foxes, badgers and birds! We are always happy to help when wildlife not native to Britain is found. Nothing we see really surprises me anymore.”
Despite being kept in the container for weeks before it was finally discovered on Wednesday, the snake appears to be in good health.
Saw-scaled vipers grow up to three feet long and have slanted scales which rub together to produce a hissing sound to warn potential predators.
As well as living in India, they can also be found in dry conditions across Africa and the rest of Asia.
For now the snake is being kept in a secure tank at the South Essex Wildlife Hospital, which is clearly labelled with a Do Not Touch sign.
They are currently looking for a suitable new home for the saw-scaled viper where they can be sure it won’t escape.
Mrs Schwar added: “Having the snake at the hospital doesn’t worry me because we know what we are doing, but in another respect we have to be really responsible about what we do with it.
"I don’t want us keeping hold of it for a long time put it that way!”