A 10ft snake found dead in the street could have suffered a fatal head injury before it was trapped under a tree in Northfleet, North Kent.
The RSPCA said examination of the Burmese python's body has raised questions about how it suffered the crush injury. Investigators are now trying to unravel the mystery of how it was killed - and who is the owner.
The snake was discovered trapped under a fallen tree by a member of the public in Wallis Park on Wednesday. The worried passer-by phoned the police before RSPCA officer Brian Milligan was called to the residential street at about 10am. Experts believe the animal had died at least 24 hours earlier - but it is not known where it came from.
An RSPCA spokesman said: "Somebody will be missing a 10ft Burmese python and we want to find out who. Further examination of the snake has led to some questions as to whether the crush injury it sustained to the head was a result of the tree or whether the injury took place prior to being placed under the tree."