A woman in Santa Fe, New Mexico, had just left her home early Thursday morning when her car suddenly stalled. A good Samaritan pulled over to help, but when he opened the hood of the car he didn’t find a dead battery. Instead, he found a very much living 9-foot, 20-pound python..
“It was looking right at me. It flicked its little tongue, and I kind of freaked out a little bit,” Jackson Ault said of the discovery.
So Ault and the woman, who wasn't identified, called the local police to help. The first officer on the scene wasn’t anymore interested in dealing with the snake (believed to be a Burmese python) than Ault.
But then police Lt. Louis Carlos showed up and the story suddenly became much less frightening and far more adorable.
“Cool, I want to hold it!” Carlos told local affiliate KOAT about his reaction to seeing the snake. “It was easy for me to just go in there, pick her up and hold onto her and let her feel the warmth of my hands and my body.”
After soothing the snake, Carlos called animal control services, which picked up the snake and brought it to the Santa Fe Animal Shelter and Humane Society.
Authorities say the snake is not dangerous and most likely a pet that escaped from its owner’s home. She’s also just a baby, only halfway toward her estimated adult length. They say it almost certainly crawled on top of the car’s engine seeking warmth and shelter.
“We had a lot of fun with the stray python today — everyone wanted to confront their phobias and handle the snake,” reads a post on the Santa Fe Animal Shelter’s Facebook page.
Well, not everyone exactly.
“I’m hesitant to pop my own hood even though that sounds ridiculous,” Ault said.
Follow Eric Pfeiffer on Twitter (@ericpfeiffer).