Police in Merseyside are appealing for information after theives stole a total of 38 snakes, including eight that were pregnant females, from a flat in St Helens.
The thieves broke in to the flat last monday, with two men seen leaving the address with two sacks before making their getaway in a dark coloured vehicle.
Most of the snakes were Royal Pythons, a species that can grow up to 5ft (1.5 meters) in length and are non-venomous, posing no threat to the public.
Officers suspect that they will be sold on to local snake handlers or via the internet as there is a thriving specialised market for such snakes in the UK.
DC Neil Henry, of St Helens CID, said that the stolen stakes require specialist care and called on members on the public with any information to come forward.
“This is a large collection of snakes that the victim had been gathering for a while,” he said.
“Clearly, there is a specialised market for such snakes and we would appeal to anyone involved in the buying and selling of snakes to look out for any royal pythons that they may be offered and consider whether they may have come from this address.”
“These snakes, in particular the pregnant and young snakes, need specialist care and can grow to around 5ft in length. We are appealing for any help the public can give us to trace them.”
“I would urge local people to cast their minds back to the evening of Monday 16 March in case they saw the two males in a dark-coloured vehicle or remember seeing or hearing anything suspicious.”