Rainy season sends python under car hood in Florida

Driver finds a ball python under the hood of a car that did not start.

MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. -- "I didn’t want anything to do with him (laughing),” says Diane Walsh of Manatee County.

When Diane’s husband got in the car Friday morning it wouldn’t start. She says he thought it was a bad battery.

Diane says, “He was frustrated slammed the door to car. He came out opened the hood there the snake was.”

“Right then you will see his expression,” says Diane as she quivers with fear as she tries to imitate her husband, Thomas. She adds, “He jumped back and he was freaking out running into the garage.”

The Walshes tried scaring the snake out with a hose but the snake.  “It just kept me moving from one place to the other,” says Diane.

The snake ended up in the wheel well by the time rescuers with Wildlife Inc. Education and Rehabilitation Center showed up.

“We could see the body between the two holes. We turned the wheel pull apart the vinyl access to metal space through here,” says Devon Straight, a wildlife rescuer with Wildlife Inc. Education and Rehabilitation Center on Anna Maria Island.

Devon says, “I could hear him hissing through the car a couple of times struck my hand pulled it out fast.”

An hour later the 3-foot ball python was out.

“Where ever they can fit their head through they can fit the rest of their body. ... Plenty of openings in cars,” says Devon.

It turns out the snake had nothing to do with the car not starting. The Walshes’ Impala is keyless and they had left the car unlocked the night before. When Diane’s husband tried pushing the ignition button the car wouldn’t start he had left the key fob in the car.

If Diane’s husband had driven off Devon says the snake,  “He would have taken quite a ride.”

Four thousand calls a year and Friday’s was a first for Wildlife Inc. says Ed Straight, the organization’s president. How does this call compare to the rest? Ed says, “Definitely more interesting one.”

Wildlife Inc says ball pythons grow to be between 3 to 5 feet tall and are not invasive like the Burmese pythons in the Everglades.

They say these snakes are commonly sold in pet stores and this one was probably someone's pet.

And don’t worry. Wildlife experts say the inside of your car is well sealed a snake can't slither in.

© 2017 WTSP-TV


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