A DECAPITATED snake has been discovered by a man and his daughter as they walked their two dogs in Midlothian.
The pair, who didn’t want to be named, found the common boa with its head cut off inside a plastic storage box at a field near Oak Place in Mayfield.
The snake’s head had been severed and placed inside the container, and its body was covered in wounds.
A post-mortem revealed the head had been removed while the snake was still alive, but that its bodily injuries were inflicted after it died.
The dog walkers contacted the police, who then alerted the Scottish SPCA, which is appealing for information following the grim discovery on Monday.
Animal rescue officer Mairi Stewart said: “If someone has done this as a deliberate act of cruelty then this is sickening.
“Although the post-mortem results show the snake was still alive when its head was severed, the vet said if this was done with one clean cut, death would have been instant and the snake is unlikely to have suffered.
“Aside from the injuries sustained, the snake was in good bodily condition, indicating it has been someone’s pet.
“The spot where the container was found is very close to a road so someone could easily have thrown it from a car.”
Anyone with information is urged to contact the Scottish SPCA on 03000 999 999.