A 3ft python has been found dead inside a bag on a beach.

A passer-by called the Scottish SPCA after finding the snake on Musselburgh beach in East Lothian on February 27.

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The charity said the adult royal python was emaciated and died from malnutrition, and may have been dead before it was left in the bag.

The Scottish SPCA are appealing for information about the incident.

Emma Phillips, Scottish SPCA inspector, said: “Sadly, the snake was already dead when it was discovered.

“The person who alerted us to the reptile found it at around 1.30pm on the beach inside an organza bag.

“The snake is an adult royal python and about 3ft in length.”

She added: “A post-mortem showed it was emaciated and died due to malnutrition, so it was possibly dead before being discarded.

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“The condition of the python would not have developed overnight and should have been treated much sooner.

“If anyone recognises this snake and knows who may have owned it we would urge them to contact us as soon as possible by calling our confidential animal helpline on 03000 999 999.”