“I say chaps, I really have had it with this very small snake on this DLR train!”

Love Wapping’s Wildlife Rangers rarely find the need to carry out their patrols on the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) for the very good reason that there is not a lot of wildlife on the DLR. Or so they thought until an encounter with a Royal Python last night.

After a long afternoon not doing a damn thing in the Turks Head Cafe our Chief Wildlife Ranger decided not to wait 23 minutes for the next D3 bus to Docklands yesterday evening but instead opted for a short trip on the DLR from Shadwell, despite this meaning a walk through the gloom of Wapping Woods.

A snake on a train

The knotty Wapping Woodpecker problem

All London commuters immediately zone out when on a train and our Rangers are no exception to this time-honoured tradition. Chief Ranger was considering the knotty problem of exactly how he and his team might approach the task of photographing the Wapping Woodpecker when something caught his eye.

To be exact something slithering caught his eye.

Due to his recent dependence on various painkillers, Chief Ranger quickly calculated his most recent intake and decided that what he was seeing was indeed something real and not drug induced. (Unlike some visitors to Shadwell DLR…)

A passenger was sitting not six feet away with a small snake slithering and a wriggling around his arm.

Brits being Brits nobody was paying the slightest attention to this.

Chief Ranger was fascinated by the sight of a snake on a train and stood and watched as the snake and its owner enjoyed their trip, the snake slowly slithering along without a care in the world.

When the snake – and its owner – got off the train our Chief Ranger followed and politely asked the owner about the snake and was told that it was a Royal Python, also known as a Ball Python.

Even Wapping’s preeminent wildlife expert was surprised at this, expecting to be told that it was a grass snake or something equally harmless.

To be fair the little Royal Python was completely harmless as it is only three months old. And is called Morticia.

Morticia the Royal Python

Set eyebrows to stun

However, our Chief Ranger’s eyebrows became raised when the owner explained that even when the python grew up in two or three of years (possibly reached a length of around six feet) he still intended to take it on the DLR with him.

Which could be interesting.

Just snakes on a plane. Stay calm chaps!

Do Say: “I say chaps, I really have had it with this very small snake on this DLR train!”

Don’t Say: “I have had it with these motherf**king snakes on this motherf**king train!!!!”


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