A python was found tied in a knot with its skull crushed in a suspected revenge attack following the death of an exotic animal owner.
The snake, a 14ft albino Burmese python, was discovered by a dog walker just days after an inquest into the death of snake handler Dan Brandon, who had been suffocated by a python.
The mutilated remains of the snake, which had its lungs punctured with a screwdriver, were found in Crynant, Wales, on Sunday morning.
It was later collected by Geraint Hopkins, 64, a local snake handler.
Now, his wife, Yolande Hopkins, 39, believes the results of 31 year old Dan Brandon’s inquest may have triggered the python’s death.
Burmese pythons are not venomous, although when they’re fully grown they should be handled by at least two adults for safety.
Yolande, from Llanelli, Wales, said: ‘It seems very strange that the coroner’s report for the man who had been killed by his pet python came out last week and now this one has been killed and dumped.
‘I think this is a revenge attack because either people were disgusted by Dan Brandon’s death or it could have been that the owner was scared by what this man’s snake did to him and panicked.
‘The inquest took place last week then all of a sudden last weekend this snake was found dead. We found this python on Sunday morning.
‘I don’t know for definite what had happened to it. It’d definitely been bricked on the head.
‘The skull has been crushed, it had been tied in a knot and someone had used a screwdriver to puncture its lungs.
‘One or two people have said it was frozen as if it’d be put in a freezer to die.’
An inquest in Basingstoke heard how Dan Brandon had been killed by his 8ft African Rock Python at his home in Fleet, Hampshire in August last year.
Coroner Andrew Bradley recorded a verdict of death by misadventure last Wednesday.
Yolande, who also supplies snakes to TV programmes, added: ‘We need to educate people about reptiles before they go buying snakes. They may remember your smell but they’re never going to show you affection like a dog.’
A spokesperson from South Wales Police said: ‘South Wales Police received a report of a dead snake found in Abernant, Cynant at 08.46 on 28 of January 2018.
‘Police were advised that the snake was a 13ft-14ft white and yellow, Burmese python.
Police are attempting to locate its owner and asking anyone with information to call 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111 quoting occurrence: 1800033717.