common frog

Info & advice

Snakes: injury or illness

I’ve found an injured snake, what can I do to help it?

Quick answer
Contact a vet or wildlife hospital for advice on treatment. If the animal is trapped and you are not confident handling reptiles please call the RSPCA.

You can also join the Garden Wildlife Health project and report your sighting of a dead or diseased reptile.  Visit the Garden Wildlife Health website.

Further information
If you find a snake in your garden that is injured or seems unwell it is best to contact a vet of wildlife hospital about treatment. They should be able to advise on the best course of action. Grass Snakes may play dead when threatened but should recover after a short while.

Snakes can easily become trapped and injured in pond netting with a mesh size between 1 cm and 5 cm. We therefore generally advise against using it.  If it is necessary you can minimise this risk by using a mesh size which is less than 1 cm across and fixed down securely.  If you find a snake entangled in netting, gently try to release it, if possible (bear in mind that grass snakes can release a foul-smelling liquid if they feel threatened so you may want to wear gloves!). If you are not confident handling reptiles please contact the RSPCA for assistance.

grass snake head
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