7-foot Python cause of truck troubles


SANTA FE (KRQE) – A Santa Fe woman’s car troubles are getting lots of attention. A good samaritan stopped to help her, and what they found under her truck’s hood gave them both a scare.

“It’s a little traumatizing,” Jackson Ault laughed.

When Ault stopped near Zia Road and Camino Carlos Rey in Santa Fe Thursday morning to help a woman with her truck that wouldn’t start, he didn’t realize what he was in for.

“I popped the hood and I looked right down at the battery and I noticed this big spotted lump,” recalled Ault.

Slithering through the engine compartment was a 7-foot long Burmese Python, not what Ault or the Toyota Tacoma’s driver expected.

“She screamed at the top of her lungs, and jumped back about 10 or 15 feet,” said Jackson. “I started screaming some obscenities, cause it really caught me off guard.”

Ault isn’t fond of snakes. When he called Animal Control, the officer asked him to check if the snake was alive.

“It flicked its tongue out at me and saw those crazy snake eyes, and then it proceeded to crawl around on top of the V-6,” said Ault.

Santa Fe Police Lieutenant Louis Carlos was first on scene, and lifted the python out of the truck’s engine.

“It’s obvious after I picked her up that she started to curl herself around me, and it’s obvious that she’s used to the human touch, she’s used to being handled,” Carlos said.

The snake made it out alright, with minor injuries, mainly redness on her tail and midsection.

Now at the animal shelter, workers believe the python sought warmth from the truck’s engine, and likely has a home nearby.

“If not, I’m the first one in line to adopt her and give her a nice home, and bring her home to my kids,” said Lt. Carlos.

Carlos said the woman driving the truck was freaked out by the find. Ault told KRQE News 13 he can’t get the image out of his mind.

“I still haven’t opened my hood and I probably won’t open my hood for another couple of weeks,” Ault laughed. “It creeped me the heck out man, I tell you what.”

Animal Shelter workers said the 20 lb. python is friendly, but to some, that doesn’t make her any less scary.

Burmese Pythons are native to Southeast Asia, but they’re popular pets among reptile owners. They’re among the largest snakes, capable of growing to 23-feet long or more, weighing up to 200 pounds, with a girth as big as a telephone pole.

Shelter workers believe this python is likely two to three years old. If you’re missing this 7-foot pet, you can call the Santa Fe Animal Shelter at (505) 983-4309 x. 606 or the city Animal Control at (505) 955-2701.

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