A ball python snake has been found abandoned in a box in an Oxford park.

A shocked member of the public found the reptile next to a bin in the Rivermead Nature Park on Monday (November 6) with information about its breeding and health stuck to the box.

On the box someone had written that the snake was called Barry and stated: “Handle with care, ball python. Non-venomous reptile enclosed.”

There was also a typed-up piece of paper which had information about when the snake hatched, the dates of its first and last shed and information about when they last fed.

The member of the public took the snake home for safekeeping before contacting the RSPCA.

An inspector – Malwina Gasiorek – collected the snake and transferred it to a specialist exotics centre.

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Ms Gasiorek said: “This poor snake was abandoned and was very lucky to be found and rescued in time.

"Snakes are unable to produce their own body heat, and with the colder weather we’re having recently, the snake may not have survived for much longer on its own.

Oxford Mail: Information attached to the box with the python inside Information attached to the box with the python inside (Image: RSPCA)

“Whoever abandoned this snake knew plenty of information about it, which is why it is baffling to understand why they were abandoned.

"If they weren’t able to look after the snake anymore, the snake should have been taken to an exotics centre.”

The abandonment comes as the RSPCA launches its 'Join the Christmas Rescue' campaign which shows that abandonment calls coming into its emergency line are at a three-year high.