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Woman finds 5-foot snake in her car -- it’s not rare. What to do if it happens to you

An Oklahoma woman found a 5-foot rat snake in her car engine, police said. Photo from Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page.
An Oklahoma woman found a 5-foot rat snake in her car engine, police said. Photo from Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page.

A woman in rural Cleveland County, Oklahoma, recently found a 5-foot black rat snake curled up in her car engine, police said Monday.

She called called 911, frightened because she needed help removing the non-venomous snake from the motor, and three sheriff’s deputies responded to help the woman, according to police.



As it turns out, snakes slithering into car engines isn’t unusual.

Last week, police officers in a Chicago suburb took half an hour to remove a 3-foot snake from their patrol car, according to the Associated Press.

A Florida man found a boa constrictor in his Cadillac when he opened the hood to do some work in January, FOX 5 in Atlanta reported.

A woman pulled her SUV to the side of the road in Wisconsin last summer because it was “running strangely,” and she found a Ball python inside, according to the Omro Police Department.

Stephen Thornton, medical director of the Poison Control Center at the KU Health System, talks about how to avoid snakebites, how they're treated and what they can do to the human body.

So, why do snakes slither into car engines, and what should you do if you find yourself face to face with one next time you open the hood?

Sandy Moore-Furneaux, a snake expert at the Oklahoma City Herpetological and Invertebrate Society, said the snake in Cleveland County may have been chasing a mouse or rat, according to the sheriff’s office.

Other experts say a car engine provides a warm, dark space for snakes to hide, MSN reported.

Moore-Furneaux says the best thing to do is bang on the hood of the car and leave for a few minutes so the snake can go somewhere else, according to police.

As for the woman in Oklahoma, police said the snake may have been a “blessing in disguise” if it was preying on rats or mice — which are known to chew through wires and cause serious damage.

“My grandpa always loved the snakes and taught me not to fear them because of that,” Moore-Furneaux said, according to the police Facebook post.

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