A METRE-long Burmese python was found lying in the middle of a Hampshire road.

The bizarre late-night discovery was made in Lee Lane, near Lee, after an alert was issued on social media.

It is not known if the reptile, thought to be about 18 months old, escaped from its enclosure or was dumped.

John Searle, who lives near Woodley, Romsey, said: “I was with my wife Angie when she went to get the snake.

“We looked at the picture on social media and said straight away it was a Burmese python. We’ve had experience with Burmese pythons as we’re part of the Portsmouth Reptile and Amphibian Society and I’ve kept them in the past.

“We were surprised it was still there but it was so cold it probably couldn’t move.”

Describing the snake as “nervous” and “aggressive” John said the creature was warmed up slowly and fed.

He added: “If it’s a pet it will settle down very quickly and will probably be rehomed if the owner does not come forward.”

Burmese pythons are one of the five biggest species of snake. They are non-venomous but fully-grown ones are powerful enough to constrict and kill their owners.

An RSPCA spokesman said anyone finding a snake should keep a safe distance, monitor the creature and call the charity’s helpline on 0300 1234 999.

He added: “Exotic pets such as snakes often end up in the RSPCA’s care after people realise they’re not easy to care for, or the novelty wears off.

“Others have rescued after they have escaped or been released on purpose.

“The RSPCA would always recommend owners invest in an enclosure suitable for the particular species and that the enclosure is kept secure when unattended.

“The charity collects more snakes in the summer months. It’s possible some are escapees becoming more active in warmer weather.”