A deadly saw-scaled viper, which got into a shipping container in India undetected, has been rescued by wildlife authorities in the U.K. before it could do any harm.

The extremely poisonous reptile was collected by South Essex Wildlife Hospital Saturday. It is currently secured inside a sealed room, reported Sky News.

The viper was discovered inside the container of rocks ordered by a stonemason in the U.K. from India. The owner of the cargo immediately contacted the nearby animal hospital for help.

The snake, which was probably cold from all the traveling, was not too active at the time it was found. However, when wildlife authorities reached to secure the viper, it was very agitated and hissing and spitting aggressively.

"The authorities that had already been contacted were not responding to the situation so our reptile expert Steve and Tom the vet collected the very agitated and aggressive animal before someone was likely killed," hospital manager Sue Schwar told Sky News.

"We are glad not to have to deal with venomous creatures too often but feel sad for the snake that we can't give it its freedom and get it back home," Sue said further. 

South Essex Wildlife Hospital posted about the viper on its official Facebook page. 

According to a report from Deadline News, someone claiming to be a friend of the person who found the reptile opened up about the incident.

"It was my friend that found it. It had come into the country from India with a consignment of Indian stone," the man, identified as Stephen Hatton, noted as per the outlet.

"They first phoned the police who said they can’t keep it as you need a special license. My friend said he had no intention of keeping it just wanted advice on how to deal with the situation," he added.

The viper is currently in a locked box inside a sealed room and is waiting to be transferred to an appropriate facility. To prevent anyone from accidentally stumbling on the deadly reptile, warning notices have been put up on the room's door.

Saw-scaled vipers are usually found in portions of the Middle East and Central Asia. They are small, but their irritability, aggressive nature and lethal venom make them very dangerous. 

The species is believed to have killed more people than all other species combined. In India, the reptile is said to claim as many as 50,000 lives per year.

Viper Representational image. Photo: Pixabay