A motorist got the fright of his life when he saw a 1.5 meter long hose hanging from the dashboard of a car he was delivering for a customer.
The man spotted the stowaway reptile when he took the vehicle from a car dealership in Tipton, West Midlands, to Melton Mowbray, Leicester, on Wednesday.
He quickly stopped at a petrol station near Willington, Derbyshire, in “a bit of a panic” after seeing the five-foot corn hose slip out of the dashboard at around 9am.
Linjoy Wildlife Sanctuary and Rescue was on the scene but was unable to save the creature as it had hidden under the seats and ended up in the interior of the car.
Owner Lindsay Newell then had to convince the “unwilling” driver to continue driving to her home for another 15 minutes so they could use tools to remove the seats.
Lindsay and her colleague Mark eventually managed to reach the snake’s head and, despite nearly being bitten, made it out safe and unharmed.
A corn snake has been rescued from a car after a delivery driver saw it hanging from the dashboard
The man spotted the stowaway reptile as he took the vehicle from a car dealership in Tipton, West Midlands, to Melton Mowbray, Leicester, on Wednesday
The Vauxhall Insignia then had to be reassembled after the 30-minute rescue mission before the driver could continue his journey.
Lindsay, 36, who has run the shelter for 15 years, said“We got a call from a gentleman who works at a car dealership saying there was a snake in a car he was delivering.
He saw it hanging from the dashboard and in a bit of a panic stopped at a gas station.
‘Our volunteer Mark went out to see him and assured him it wasn’t dangerous and wouldn’t attack him.
“We tried using tweezers to reach him, but he managed to get under the passenger seat and under the carpet.
“There is a hole where the seat is attached to the frame of the vehicle and it had gone under it. We could only see his tail, but we couldn’t reach it.’
She continued, “We then had to convince the man to drive another 15 minutes to my house in Burton because special tools were needed to remove the car seats.
“He was a little hesitant to begin with, but we pointed out that the snake was hiding and wouldn’t come out and bite him.
Linjoy Wildlife Sanctuary and Rescue was on site – pictured is the corn snake after it was rescued
“Once he got here, we spent about half an hour trying to find him again, because he had managed to weave in between the inner wires behind the dashboard.
“We put a phone camera against the trim and we could just see the scale in the center of the car.
“At that point it was trying to get away — it was still trying to slip out to get further in.
“I took the tail and center while Mark went for the head. The snake was not happy with a little tugging and tried to bite Mark.
“But we managed to get him out safely. He was a little cold, so he must have been there for a few days.
“Luckily he was unharmed other than a few scrapes on his scales and is currently recovering at my house.”
The Vauxhall Insignia then had to be reassembled after the 30-minute rescue mission
The motorist quickly stopped at a petrol station near Willington, Derbyshire in ‘a bit of a panic’ after the discovery (stock image)
Corn snakes are a type of rat snake native to North America. They are non-venomous but bite when threatened and can grow up to two meters long.
It is believed the adult male was a dumped pet and may have climbed into the vehicle for warmth.
Lindsay added, “We’re not sure where he came from, but we think he must have been a dumped pet. He probably got into the car to find a warm place, such as the engine.
“The car was at a dealer in Tipton and had been inspected on site a few days earlier. It was then wheeled off the dealership, presumably hitching a ride with the hose.
“It certainly shocked the driver.
“The carpet, plastic trim and passenger seat all had to be removed and then we had to put everything back together.
“The customer was very understanding, but probably a little confused when he was told his car was late for delivery because a snake was found in it.
“I’m sure they wouldn’t have wanted a snake with their purchase.”