A 10ft-long Burmese python has been found dead beneath a fallen tree on a suburban street.
The giant reptile was found by a member of the public trapped under the tree in Wallis Park in Northfleet, Kent, yesterday morning.
RSPCA investigators who are trying to locate its owner and how it came to rest there believe it died at least 24 hours earlier.
An RSPCA spokeswoman said: "It's a bit of a strange one. Our first assumption was that it became trapped under the tree after being released.
"But it then became apparent that it had been dead for some time, at least 24 hours before it was found. The injury to its skull was caused by blunt trauma.
"What we don't know for sure is whether that injury occurred because of the fallen tree or happened before and the snake was then placed underneath the branch."
Burmese pythons are among the five largest species of snake in the world. Males grow to an average size of up to 13ft and females can grow slightly larger.
They are normally found in the marshlands, swamps, grasslands and woodland of southern and Southeast Asia, and can prove deadly.
The RSPCA spokeswoman added: "A snake of this size could easily crush a child.
"A fully-grown one would have the capability of seriously injuring or even killing a fully grown adult.
"It's their crush instinct that's particularly dangerous."
The RSPCA has possession of the dead snake and officials appealed to anyone with information about its owner to call 0300 123 8018.Suggest a correction