Python found in engine claimed by owner

SANTA FE (KRQE) – The snake that got national attention last week when an unsuspecting man found it under the hood of a truck belongs to a professional snake handler.

Dusty Webb said he works with animals on TV and movie sets. He said he had the snake, named Eve, for about a month and a half and was stunned to learn she had gotten away.

The 7-foot Burmese python was found Thursday slithering on top of a truck’s engine in Santa Fe.

Jackson Ault had the snake eyes staring back at him when he stopped to help a woman whose truck wouldn’t start, and popped the hood.

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

The 20-pound python garnering national attention was actually training for the spotlight. Her fame just came a little sooner than expected.

Her owner, Webb, said he’s worked on the sets of shows and movies like A Million Ways to Die in the West, Longmire and Breaking Bad. He said he’s been training Eve and her mate, Adam, for the cameras.

“If I flick my finger or if I tap something, the snake will look in that direction,” Webb said. “It will go in that direction but basically what I try to do, I want them first to be gentle and second to go straight.”

Webb said Eve is a gentle giant but that giant could have made her great escape as early as Wednesday when Webb said he removed the top of her cage for repairs and strapped a table on top to cover the opening in the meantime.

“She had stood up about four feet and she had pushed with her body on that table until she got it to move and she moved it over and she crawled out,” Webb said.

Webb saw her at the Santa Fe Animal Shelter on Monday.

“I was really happy to see her, and I think she was happy to see me except they don’t smile so you don’t know,” he said with a chuckle.

Webb said he didn’t realize Eve was gone for a few days because he was out of town working.

Animal Services will inspect his home Tuesday to make sure the snakes have proper enclosures.

If he gets the thumbs-up, he can take Eve home from the shelter..

Webb said he has four snakes besides Eve, along with a dozen lizards, and he claims this is the first escape on his watch.

Webb thinks she slithered less than a mile before camping out in the engine of the woman’s pickup truck.

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