An unlucky boa constrictor was abandoned at an Essex pet shop's doorstep on a cold night. Luckily, it made it through and has been nursed to a better condition by staff at Betta Aquatics in Elmstead Market.

"We arrived at 8.20 this morning and found it was as good as dead due to the very cold night we had," a staff member posted on Facebook on 19 February. "Please, if you need to rehome an animal, bring it into us when we are open rather than leaving it to suffer."

A store member holding the rescued snake Credit: Betta Aquatics

The team updated their page around four hours later to say the neglected reptile was "doing its best".

On 22 February, Betta Aquatics posted another update, this time to say the future was looking much brighter for the boa.

A staff member told ITV Anglia on 21 February that the snake may have both neurological and respiratory long-term problems because of the night it spent out in the cold. However, Betta Aquatics said it is too early to make a firm conclusion.