Fort Myers firefighters free escaped pet python from truck’s engine compartment

Reporter: Jolena Esperto Writer: Joey Pellegrino
Published: Updated:

On Thursday morning, Fort Myers firefighters helped a motorist with an unexpected reptilian stowaway who turned out to be someone’s escaped pet.

While returning to their fire station from a medical call, the crew of a Fort Myers Fire Department engine was flagged down by a motorist for help. A ball python was found inside the engine compartment of their truck at the corner of Veronica Shoemaker Blvd and Eastland Street in Fort Myers.

A ball python found inside a truck’s engine compartment, Thursday, December 29, 2022. Credit: Fort Myers Fire Department

“We got flagged down by a gentleman who said, ‘hey, can you guys help us out,’ and we saw a truck with the hood popped,” said Mat Williams, a Fort Myers firefighter.

He figured the truck’s driver needed a jump start. “We got there. There was a python layer on the engine,” said Williams.

“We run the typical cat stuck in the tree or ducks in a great but never a snake in an engine, said Kevin McCombie, a Fort Myers firefighter.

A trio of firefighters got the python out of the truck’s engine.

“We’re able to pin the head down. And then we’re able to grab behind it and pretty much pulled it out. And it was cold out, so it wasn’t moving too much. Wasn’t very active. And then we’re able to get the bucket, put a lid on it,” said McCombie.

Fort Myers Firefighter Wylie Wilkinson’s takeaway is firefighters must be ready for anything. “First time for everything. You know, this career is kind of like everything is done. Never know what’s gonna happen”

So, where did the python come from? The fire department’s best guess is that the animal is someone’s escaped pet. FWC says the ball python is an escaped pet and that attempts are being made to find its owner.

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