Snake filmed eating pigeon in London street

A tropical snake has been filmed eating a pigeon on a busy east London street.

Dave Fawbert spotted the boa constrictor, thought to be an abandoned pet, on High Road, Leytonstone, on Saturday morning.

The RSPCA has since taken the reptile to a wildlife centre and is appealing for information about how it may have come to be in the street.

A spokeswoman for the charity said it appeared "someone had found a dead pigeon and then given it to the snake".

Mr Fawbert said the snake was "100% eating the pigeon, it had its jaw open wrapped around it and the head was half-way in already".

He added that he had hoped to see a snake in the wild while on safari in Tanzania a few years ago. "I never did, but I guess now I have," he said.

His Twitter post of the reptile has been shared more than 4,000 times.

Many described the animal as a python, but the RSPCA confirmed it is a boa constrictor.

Mr Fawbert said when he discovered the animal on the pavement between a parked car and a row of shops one passer-by screamed.

But soon a big crowd gathered, he added.

Rachel Garland, 29, from Stratford, who filmed the video, said: "It was really cool, you never see anything like that.

"I wasn't scared because it was moving so slowly and it was completely wrapped up in its pigeon. It was just trying to eat the pigeon, it wasn't taking any notice of all the people.

"This guy then picked it up by its tail as it was wrapped around the pigeon and put it in a cardboard box.

RSPCA inspector Rebecca Bedson, who removed the snake, said she was keen to find out how it "came to be in such a dangerous situation".

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She added: "Anything might have happened to him, he could have been run over by a car or attacked by another animal."

The animal charity said many people were "unaware of how much of a commitment these animals are when they take them on" resulting in hundreds of reptile rescues every year.

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