A 1.2-meter-long ball python was found alive inside the engine bay of a sport-utility vehicle in Omro, Wisconsin, last week. At about 6:50pm on Wednesday, Chris Nguyen, a local man, was having trouble driving his mother’s SUV so he pulled over for a check, according to a post on the Omro Police Department’s Facebook page.

Snake and owner 2
The police spent three hours getting the snake out; Steve Keller, the snake catcher, rescued the python from the truck. Photo courtesy of Omro Police Department@Facebook.

To Nguyen’s surprise, he found a ball python coiled up inside the engine compartment, while the serpentine belt, which runs several peripheral devices on a vehicle, had been thrown off, preventing the engine from running properly.

Nguyen called the police, who spent nearly three hours setting the python free. The police said the reptile, rescued by snake catcher Steve Keller, was alive and was only “tired and scared.”

Netizens praised the police for saving the animal.

Police later found the owner of the reptile through social media, United Press International reported. The python had reportedly been missing for almost a month and a half.

However, it is illegal to keep pythons as pets, according to Omro municipal law. The owner of the snake was fined US$313 for keeping an illegal exotic animal as a pet.