Onlookers fed a dead pigeon to a snake when they found it slithering across a pavement in east London.
Bystanders were stunned to see the snake making its way across the pavement in Leytonstone yesterday.
Concerned onlookers called the RSPCA, but not before someone found a deceased pigeon to give to the animal to sate its appetite.
It is not yet known whether the snake escaped or was dumped there, the RSPCA said.
They don’t believe the snake hunted down and killed a live pigeon, a spokeswoman added.
RSPCA inspector Rebecca Benson said: “We received a call yesterday morning reporting a stray snake in High Road, Leytonstone. I arrived to find the python in a box and transported him to a wildlife centre where he is currently being assessed.
“I’m very keen to find out how he came to be in such a dangerous situation. Exposed like that on a street could have meant anything might have happened to him, he could have been run over by a car or attacked by another animal.
“It might be that he is an escaped pet, or more worryingly, someone may have deliberately dumped him and left him to fend for himself.
“Either way, anybody with any information can give me a call in complete confidence on our inspector’s appeal line by phoning 0300 123 8018.”
“The RSPCA is encountering widespread neglect of reptiles.
“The charity is finding that many people are unaware of how much of a commitment these animals are when they take them on. As a result the RSPCA is rescuing hundreds of reptiles every year.
“It is for this reason that the RSPCA urges potential owners to take the time to look very thoroughly into what is required to care properly for an exotic pet first before taking one on so they know what is involved in terms of time, efforts and money, and how long it is likely to be for.”
Investigators will hold the snake for some time in the hope its owner may come forward, after that it will be rehomed, they said.