A man who stopped the car for a walk at Ravencraig Wood on Wednesday nearly jumped out of his skin when he came face to face with a boa constrictor.
Iain Lowson of Cathlaw House in Torphichen was stunned to discover the six foot snake and thought at first that it was dead.
He said: “I was shocked when I first saw it. At first I thought it was a python - it had distinctive markings along its body which was dark brown and black with a streak of white, and a head the colour of a manilla envelope.
‘‘You could have got both hands around the thickest part of its body. I thought it was dead but then its head started moving slowly.”
Iain called the Scottish SPCA who picked up the snake, whom they have named Hank, around 12.30pm.
Inspector Jennifer Surgeon said: “It is highly likely that this poor snake has been abandoned due to the remoteness of the location where it was found. Hank was very lucky to have survived his ordeal as the cold weather could easily have killed him.
“After warming up beside the radiator in my van Hank soon began moving again.”
Hank weighs in at over 5kg and vets say that he is in overall good health.
The SSPCA is now appealing to the public to contact their Helpline on 03000 999 999 if they recognise the snake and know who might have owned him, as abandoning an animal is an offence.