Snakes in cars while people are still in them, is not so unusual – happens all the time, somewhere in the world.
This week it happened in Bristol UK.
A five foot long (1.5m) boa constrictor snake had to be rescued from behind a car dashboard after escaping on its way to the vets.
Miguel Reid, who owns the five-year-old, had packed the pet – named Snake – into his rucksack before driving to the surgery in Brislington, Bristol.
But on his way Mr Reid realised the reptile had slithered out and disappeared behind the steering wheel.
In Africa, we always checked the snake was still on the road if we happened to run one over, because if it wasn’t, it would be under the car, and soon, in it.So passagers were required to turn around and check that it was slithering off into the verge, or dead.
I remember, one day, having filled our Combi/minibus with garden refuse intending a serene journey to the tip, watching with horror as I climbed into the driving seat, as a snake slithered under it, and disappeared into the cuttings, prunings and rubble in the back.
The choice was either to unpack the whole lot there and then, or drive to the tip and unpack the whole lot there. So I asked our handyman to come along for a ride. He had a most important job. The most important one he’d ever done. I explained about the snake. He was most unenthusiastic. But he was very brave. He watched my feet without flinching on the whole journey.
We arrived safely. Never found the snake.
After that, I was never sure if we’d tipped it, or it was hiding safely in the upholstry somewhere – somewhere – in our vehicle.
But, like the Bristol incident, I knew it was a young African Rock Python. They are safe snakes really – really – when they are small and not huge.