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Eight foot boa, two iguanas in reptile haul

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: September 10, 2013

  • Sue Cull of Griffith John Street shows the puncture wounds she received when she was bitten by a python.

Comments (24)

A NOAH’S Ark of reptiles have been uncovered across South West Wales.

In the last three weeks alone an eight foot boa, a three foot iguana, two adders and several corn snakes, have all been found in the area.

The discoveries come after Swansea woman Sue Cull was bitten by a python on her way home from a pub as police were searching for the snake in Dyfatty.

Llanelli-based Geraint Hopkins, who voluntarily collects the reptiles, said he had seen a rise of exotic creatures being uncovered in the area.

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He said: “In the last two weeks in South Wales I’ve picked up an eight foot boa, a large iguana that was around three feet.

“I’ve found two adders and quite a few corn snakes in the Dyfed-Powys Police and South Wales area.

“I’ve picked up a lot of grass snakes — around 10 this year alone.”

He added: “I’ve had three or four calls a day over the last three weeks.

“Some have been found in people’s gardens and there was a grass snake found in a woman’s house.

“I’ve noticed more people are losing reptiles and exotic creatures recently.

“It’s getting more like America and there is a lot of people who do not have the knowledge to keep exotic pets.”

Mr Hopkins said reptiles tended to be “escape artists” and that snakes knew how to get out from their tanks.

He added that he wasn’t 100 per cent sure what had bitten Ms Cull, 47, as she took a short cut over the grass to her Griffith John Street address.

She originally thought she had walked through nettles when she felt the stinging sensation on both her legs.

But when she couldn’t stem the flow of blood from her legs her partner Kay rang 999.

When the paramedic arrived Ms Cull was told that it was a snake bite.

Ms Cull said: “When I got to the hospital they rang the Medical Reptile Unit in London which told them to measure the bite and they then confirmed it was a python.”

The paramedic was informed by the police that an eight to 10 foot python had gone missing in Dyfatty following the incident on Thursday night.

Mr Hopkins added: “It could be potentially anything that has bitten the woman — it could be something like a corn snake, a rat snake, or a grass snake — but it’s rare that they bite.”

A South Wales Police spokesman said: “Police received a report of a lost python in the Cwm Road area of Swansea on Thursday night at 10.44pm.

“It was found just over 30 minutes later.

“No other reports of missing reptiles have been received.”

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  • welsh_gal1978  |  September 18 2013, 7:05PM

    Aww well thank you very much snakelady258, thank you for taking the time to read my massive posts, a shame someone who proclaims to be a woman I suppose by calling themselves snake lady still cannot seem to be able to bring themselves to admit that sexual abuse in whatever form is wrong. lol, yet again the reptile big I am's are pushing themselves even further in the kakhi poop as we say in Wales. Tell you what, you take your time and do your research, I am truely honoured that you find my posts so important to you as to take the time to squeeze any bull**** of a reply that I already know you are going to try. While your at it, regarding the "expert from London" in the original story who originally told the hospital it was a snake bite, has anyone from your precious community got a clue who that is, have you questioned the institute or just jumped at mr hopkins because you've all got some sick axe to grind. If you really are female, who are you, last I heard it was the likes of myra hindley who agreed to violent sexual abuse, what type of woman would not say it was wrong, you've had your chance and ignored it. All the while mr newman is very quiet all of a sudden, my legal advice been checked on has it? or did you just google yourself like I suggested, interesting post that in the global reptile forum, perhaps you could answer how much truth there is in it Go ahead enlighten the whole of south wales on the reptile fraternities views on the violent verbal sexual abuse and stalking that came from then directed towards mr hopkins's wife 2 years ago, I mean the post has a massive following, go ahead please do tell us. snake lady when your done researching or whatever, please give us your views on it too, you could have during your last post but hey we're all waiting xx

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  • snakelady258  |  September 18 2013, 11:53AM

    Wow!!!!! You have been busy welsh_gal1978, writing three big replies to me. I am sorry to say that I don't have as much time to spare as you seem to have, but having said that I will do my utmost to make time here later as your posts do warrant a reply from me.

  • welsh_gal1978  |  September 14 2013, 5:54PM

    well now I am coming to my own conclusions in this little saga, it is my opinion that by not addressing questions raised that just as mr newman believes according to the BBC website when you google his name that rottties are more dangerous than caymans, even though he seems to have no knowledge whatsoever of this beautiful gentle breed that I have judged previously at shows and know people who breed and keep, I am begining to wonder how many in the reptile community can be either in my learned opinion perverted enough, silly enough or even disturbed enough to condone the sort of behaviour that we have seen in that a perfectly nice, law abiding hard working young woman has been previously attacked via violent sexual remarks and stalking. Is there no one from the reptile community who condemns this sort of action, nit picking at quotes in local press seems all they can do. What exactly has mr hopkins ever done against the reptile community, none of you seem to actually know him, ever spoken to him or even met him. This is a man who has raised hundreds of thousands for charity, he works voluntarily with reptiles at great expense to himself, his wife has more than enough funds to bring down even the biggest richest of your communities, why nit pick, your only hurting yourselves. He is respected because he protects the public as well as the animals. It seems extremely silly to me to put yourselves in such a position, can any of you actually prove 100% that he actually said what he was quoted as saying because if you can't your on very dangerous ground financially should they decide to proceed with civil action. Does there need to be any more police involvement obviously resulting in civil action further damaging the community your all so geared up to protect. The only ones I see here damaging the herp community is yourselves, if it is so easy to nit pick on quotes in the press why is it not easy to see that comments made previously against Lady Rees-hopkins were in my opinion extremely disturbing. You've let yourselves down and that's that, you've had every opportunity as Mr Newman has to rectify this, I certainly know what I think that's for sure. Good luck to all of you hopefully some day someone with sense will wonder why people who are obviously mentally challenged should be allowed to keep dangerous animals as pets or whatever you do with them and do something about it because your obviously in my opinion not doing with them what normal people do.

  • welsh_gal1978  |  September 14 2013, 2:54PM

    Also as I have stated in previous posts, I would expect anyone who is regularly in the press to be misquoted at times, it is well known that good journalism comes from exaggerating stories, the journalists wouldn't be doing their jobs otherwise, it's what sells papers. I ask mr newman and anyone else for that matter who have been quoted as saying A B or C if they have never been misquoted. I raised points about mistakes because mr newman himself appears to have made some here too, even editors or previous editors of magazines don't appear to be infallible to mistakes, making my point of you can't believe everything you read. If in fact you read the heading of the above article, it does not match the story even, no one seems to have picked up on this, targeting instead mr hopkins yet again, now did he say 2 iguanas or a 3 ft iguana. Why then question mr hopkins version if the reporter has made a mistake either even before writing or at the very start of an article, would it not then be sensible to assume that would not be the only error. Just like before we have members of the reptile community do not appear to like anyone having a different view than them, so far 1 has accused anyone on here who disagrees with them of being "phoney" and now we have a new 1 accusing me of bearing a grudge because I see previous behaviour by a limited number of members of the reptile community in my learned opinion as being extremely disturbing and perverted, how small that number is I am unsure but one thing is for sure, when questioned, it's close ranks and accuse others in the silliest way possible. Not one person has agreed that that behaviour was wrong now that is worrying not comments made by mr hopkins, which are ovbious misquotes and are only being picked on by members of the reptile community in an obvious attempt in my opinion in order to discredit. Shameful

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  • welsh_gal1978  |  September 14 2013, 1:54PM

    As I have never met mr newman, I have no personal grudge to bear against him, I am however extremely concerned that he still is unable to answer any of my questions. I find it appalling myself that anyone should treat anyone especially a woman the way members of the reptile community did mr hopkins wife. Threats and violent verbal sexual abuse is dangerous as is stalking. We have 3 people on here from that community and it appears to be ok with all of them. I asked mr newman because he is the chair of the bhf and was also extremely voicy at the time of the attacks. Does he then condone this behaviour. Secondly as I have actually taken the time to email mr hopkins, I feel I am the one with the upper hand here. As I first thought, he had nothing to do with the original story and was only contacted by the national media after the story had appeared in the evening post. At no time did he say it was a snake bite and told me in writing that he believed the above article was a followup highlighting problems with escaped exotics in south wales, native species were mentioned in order for the public to better understand them, it's just unfortunate the story was written that way. Now back to grudges, I am aware of a number of instances where either mr hopkins or his wife have been attacked, as I have already stated the police had to warn a number of persons from the herp community that they would face charges if it continued, they were tracked by their IP addresses, if there's a grudge there it is that. I have reminded mr hopkins of his legal stance and although I only briefly worked on the civil proceedings that were to start then, they were stopped due to mr hopkins wifes illness, it did keep me interested as I too have kept a number of different reptiles for a number of years. I found it shocking and quite frankly disturbing that any human being would find that sort of behaviour acceptable even leading me not to renew any of my memberships. The quote you took from me is also true, anyone who is supposed to be of high moral standing or with a position such as mr newman holds really does need to be more careful with wording, he can lay open himself or any organisation which he holds a position in to all sorts of legal proceedings and given the vast amount of money it would take in order to defend against those proceedings, it could be extremely damaging as quite often those organisations insurance companies would not cover civil litigation cases involving libel or harassment claims, unless they are a LTD company, any directors could also be financially damaged.

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  • snakelady258  |  September 14 2013, 5:50AM

    by welsh_gal1978 Tuesday, September 10 2013, 1:25PM "perhaps mr newman should be a little more careful with his words after the attacks by the reptile fraternity on mr hopkins 2 years ago, surely the chairman of the BHF should have more sense. Welsh_Gal 1978, I'm sorry to say that your posts are coming across as a personal grudge against Mr Newman, as otherwise you would clearly see as others do, and that there was no malice against anyone in Mr Newman's post. The plain facts were posted that in no way was this a snake bite, which I also stand by. It would be impossible for a snake to cause that injury, unless the snake had just one tooth on the top and one on the bottom jaw which would be a million to one chance. The fact that a snake had escaped a short while earlier and the Police reported this to the Ambulance Crew seems to be the reason for someone to surmise that the snake was the culprit, and then this theory was jumped on even more when the injuries were measured for the distance apart. It is easy to see how an exotic expert would come up with a 10 ft python, but if they had seen a photo of the injuries they would have said "no way is that a snake bite". I do not know of Mr Hopkins, but have to say that If he rescues exotics as is reported here, then good on him. However, there really was no need to go on about our very own "native species". I also feel a great deal of concern with regards to Mr Hopkins own knowledge of reptiles if he can't see that this injury was not caused by a snake. Mr Hopkins could have rectified this situation very quickly but seems to have chosen not to which does not bode well for him, and in fact is cause for concern.

  • welsh_gal1978  |  September 12 2013, 5:33PM

    chris newman & orinoco gone very quiet all of a sudden havent you, never mind hopefully you'll get something nice and legal in the post soon to contemplate, hope you've got the assets to cover costs though, seems Mr hopkins could have a very good case in my experience and knowing his wife who is actually titled if she does decide legal proceedings it could be very costly both for mr newman and any organisation whom he is affiliated to. I guess those testicles were not too much of a huge problem after all and legal advice given was checked on maybe you'll think twice before attacking law abiding protectors of the public and animals in future. Just in case your not sure about protecting animals again, google your name chris newman and the word reptile, may be a good reminder for you before making comments about others

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  • welsh_gal1978  |  September 11 2013, 4:14PM

    another point orinoco is that although I'm not entirely sure mr newmans testicles are in any question what so ever, he does appear to have disappeared from here in defending himself or in fact answering my questions. Perhaps he did after all google his own name and find the person obviously not happy with him on the global reptile forum who seems to have made some pretty mean allegations against him, now Im not sure they're all true but it would certainly explain why he refuses to answer my question regarding the violent verbal sexual abuse directed towards mr hopkins's wife. On the other hand perhaps he has taken legal advice which I have also reminded him of on here and found that you only need 3 instances for it to be deemed harassment and mr newman has far surpassed that with regards to mr hopkins As the chair of the BHF mr newman should really be more careful with his wording, I look forward to seeing if he ever does actually stand up here and answer all my questions in full All too often we have seen the people who make a living out of the sale of reptiles becoming agitated at those who wish to protect both the animals and the public, here's something to consider with yet again more deaths caused buy large constrictors kept as pets over seas, is mr hopkins right, how long will it be before the same thing happens here, all he does is advise inexperienced keepers not to buy large constrictors until they are more experienced and advises viv safety for those reptiles in the interest of the public and the safety of the keepers now how is that a bad thing exactly after all it is what any self respecting herp should be doing anyway

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  • welsh_gal1978  |  September 11 2013, 1:54PM

    A point on misquotations or mistakes jumps out of this page which proves that even the esteemed mr newman is indeed guilty of mistakes I qote " Not everyone like reptiles but they are the choose of the informed pet keeper today" Now petty maybe but the word there should read choice not choose, this sentence was written by mr newman himself, therefore it is inevitable that sometimes the press will print things that will read a little different to what has actually been said. I bring this back up because it was mr newman himself who instigated the conversation to turn to mr hopkins obviously in an attempt to discredit him with the public. However the last time this happened members of the herp community were warned by the police as the attacks moved to mr hopkins's wife. I am entirely justified in asking chris newman as he states that attacks from the reptile community are understandable if as chair of the bhf or as an individual he condones the verbal sexual attacks and stalking that mr hopkins wife suffered at that time As you appear to know mr newman so well perhaps you could ask him Read more: http://tinyurl.com/oqzgfmv Follow us: @thisisswales on Twitter | thisissouthwales on Facebook

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  • welsh_gal1978  |  September 11 2013, 1:28PM

    I dont see Mr Newman being attacked, I only question whether or not he has ever been misquoted as his main point in his first comment was guided toward Mr Hopkins. Surely he has the ability to answer for himself. I only point out that Mr Newman seems not to be infallible himself making his comments towards someone who we consider in this area to be a valuable asset to the public. I also see yet again persons from the herp community doing the same as the last time Mr Hopkins was attacked by them, accusing anyone who dare have a different opinion to them of using fake names. I am far from fake and am highly aware of the problems last time which is why I take an interest this time. Everyone apart from you orinoco, also seems to be incredibly polite, one cannot help if you seem unable to understand the legal position here in that because things got so out of hand 2 years ago the police had to become involved, this was reported in the local paper at the time. It was the reptile community themselves that showed themselves in such a poor light. Back on the subject though I agree with peyethomas00 here, there does seem to be some underlying motive here, one things for sure that is definitely not a snake bite

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