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Man hailed hero for 'saving' snake admits he was lying

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Burmese python

© Rex Features / Denkou Images

An Austrian man hailed as a hero only days ago after fishing a 7.5 foot boa constrictor out of a river has admitted the whole story was a lie to get rid of an unwanted pet.

Genter Punschik admitted to police he had been given the snake as a gift when he was drunk and, after waking up next to his new pet, decided he had to get rid of it, the Austrian Times reports.

Head of the Austrian Animal Protection Association Susanne Hemetsberger told Reuters how the man confessed his lies after his story was shown to be faulty: "No passer-by who isn't familiar with snakes would ever grab a boa constrictor. On the contrary, they would scream, run away and call the police."

Hemetsberger added that Punshchik has two other snakes he wants to get rid of, and called for stricter regulations on the sale of exotic pets to novice owners.

Punshchik claimed the situation was not his fault: "I hadn't noticed as it was dark and I couldn't even remember who gave it to me. I told the police that I had found it as I didn't know what else to say and I had nowhere else to put it."

He will have to pay for the 7kg boa constrictor's food and shelter until a suitable owner can be found.

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