Street Sweepers Save Abandoned Pet Corn Snake Thrown Out With The Recyclables

Who would just toss a pet snake out on the street like that?

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London street sweeper Tom Elmer wanted to keep the corn snake, but his partner said no. Via Westminster City Council/getwestlondon
John Virata

Someone in Westminster, England, threw a pet corn snake, enclosure and all, out with the recyclables, but it was saved thanks to some quick thinking by the city’s street sweepers.

The street sweepers were doing their jobs on a cold morning in early March when they happened upon a sealed box next to the recycling bins in the city’s Paddington district, according to getwestlondon.

They first thought that the box was an old fish tank, but then one street sweeper saw something moving inside. It turned out there was a live snake in the discarded fish tank.

Who would throw out a pet? This corn snake was abandoned with the recyclables in central London, England. Via Westminster City Council/getwestlondon

The street sweepers took the snake back to the local street cleaning depot where it was placed in a bin so it could warm up. They then called the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA), who sent a representative to identify and retrieve the abandoned pet corn snake.

After finding the snake with his crew, street sweeper Tom Elmer wanted to adopt the reptile, but his partner said no.

“It’s odd because I’ve always wanted a snake as a pet,” told “I asked my partner if we could keep the snake but unfortunately she wasn’t having any of it!”

When a city council cabinet member got wind of what was found near the recycling bins, he was a bit peeved that someone would just abandon a pet.

“We are always keen to encourage more recycling but this is really irresponsible behavior,” Councillor Melvyn Caplan, Westminster City Council cabinet member for city management, told the site.

“Just to make absolutely clear, you cannot recycle snakes or any pets for that matter,” he added. “Well done to Tom for his quick thinking to protect the animal’s welfare and thank you to the RSPCA for stepping in.”

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