Grandfather finds slithering surprise under hood of car in Bradenton

3-foot python coiled around car engine
Posted at 11:05 PM, Jun 12, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-13 08:53:26-04

A Bradenton man got the scare of his life after finding a 3-foot python coiled around the engine of his Chevy Impala. 

Tom Walsh discovered the snake Friday morning after lifting up his hood to inspect why his car would not start.

Surveillance video from that morning shows Walsh jumping back a few feet, startled by the snake.  

"Well, it was a little stressful," said Walsh's wife, Diane. "That's when he said 'can I have a sandwich and two heart pills?' He doesn't take heart pills." 

ABC Action News has learned, the 3-foot snake is a Ball python, which are typically kept as pets and are known to be docile and are non-venomous. 

"When they hear the work python, they think of Burmese pythons, which are invading the Everglades right now," said Devon Straight, of Wildlife, Inc. Education & Rehabilitation Center. 

Straight responded to the couple's home Friday and was able to safely retrieve the snake within a few minutes. 

"Turn the tire and access it from underneath the car by unscrewing some of the vinyl and reaching into a small opening," said Straight. 

Straight believes the snake is someone's pet and was seeking dry, warm shelter during last week's rainy weather. 

Straight tells ABC Action News, the owner of the snake now faces a potential $500 citation from Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. 

"They frequently end up in neighborhoods where people have illegally released them or they've escaped their enclosures," said Straight.