Park snake attack leaves experts baffled

MYSTERY over a snake attack in an Ipswich park intensified today after wildlife experts admitted they were baffled as to how the reptile had found its way there.

MYSTERY over a snake attack in an Ipswich park intensified today after wildlife experts admitted they were baffled as to how the reptile had found its way there.

A temporary fence has been put up in Chantry Park to protect dogs and children after five-year-old springer spaniel Bailey was bitten by an adder as he rooted around in undergrowth.

Today, John Baker from Suffolk Wildlife Trust said he was at a loss to pinpoint how the snake had made its way to the park.

“We are really surprised,” he said. “We are intrigued as to how it got there.

“Parks are not the place to support their own population of adders. Either it could have moved from a nearby suitable habitat, or someone has released it, which seems the most likely explanation.”

Bailey is still recovering from the bite and it was only due to emergency veterinary treatment that he survived. Although he has returned home, his face is severely swollen.

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The council has since agreed to remove the snake after owner Tanya Lusher raised concerns.

She said: “It's awful to see him like this. He is so quiet and just not the dog that I know and love.

“He has got to see the vet every day so that they can check on his airways, swelling and the place where he was actually bitten as the flesh could be eaten away.

“I'd like to thank everyone who has sent their good wishes to Bailey. It's lovely to see so many people concerned, especially people that don't even know us.”

Park rangers have erected a fence around the area as a precaution after spotting the snake coiled up yesterday during a visit to the scene of the attack.

A council spokesman said: “We have put a temporary fence in place to stop dogs and children running into the area. We are also now in the process of arranging to relocate the adder to a more suitable habitat.”

Have you seen an adder in an Ipswich park? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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