Mystery box of snakes dumped on baffled London shop owner’s doorstep

A London shop owner was baffled to find a box of snakes abandoned on his doorstep.

Mark William, of Croydon Reptiles in Mitcham Road, discovered two royal pythons and a corn snake in a box dumped outside the business.

The snakes were all malnourished and sadly one of the animals died on Sunday, My London reports.

Mr William, who drove black cabs for 15 years before opening a reptile shop, said such a bizarre incident of animal abandonment would never have happened before the coronavirus pandemic.

"We have been in for ten years and the first time this happened was in September," the 53-year-old said.

"It's a sign of the times. People are abandoning animals all over the country. People financially can not manage."

The animals were dumped at around 10.15am on last Thursday and were not found for 45 minutes.

They were taken to the National Centre for Reptile Welfare in Kent as they could not be housed at the Croydon store due to contamination risks to the other animals.

Moving or rehousing the animals could cost Croydon Reptiles up to £400.

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A woman also dropped a corn snake in a shoe box off at the shop's doorstep in September.

According to Mr William the rescue centre in Kent has seen the number of animals double as a side effect of the pandemic.

Croydon reptiles first opened as a pet store in the 1960s and has been selling reptiles for ten years.

The reptile shop began in the back of the shop but within two months the entire shop was used to sell reptiles.

Some rare reptiles in the shop are sold for up to £10,000.

The shop stopped selling large snakes after customers kept struggling to look after them.

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