Huge python finds a new home – inside a Limpopo ambulance engine

A heavyweight African python took up an unlikely new home last week, eschewing the sundry hovels and dens across the Kruger National Park and instead settling down in a Limpopo ambulance’s engine.

A five-strong emergency medical team and two children from the area’s local neighbourhood were left stranded for 12 hours as they waited for the four-metre-long snake to re-emerge from the engine.

On top of allowing the snake to leave of its own volition, the emergency team present decided to provide the python with an IV drip to ensure that its encounter with the ambulance did not adversely affect its health.

“I have given the snake an IV [drip] so he isn’t dehydrated,” Maponya911 paramedic Jaco Gericke, of Phalaborwa, told News24.

Emergency services had been called to the area after a woman walking her dogs spotted the python near the fence of a local airstrip.

“I came here and the snake was right next to the fence of the airport, and security tried to prevent it from going onto the airstrip, because [an Airlink flight] was coming,” Gericke said.

“It turned around and tried to bite me in the buttocks and then it went under the ambulance. It’s [now] right around the engine. It’s a massive snake. It is around the size of [a Toyota Quantum taxi] tyre.

“It’s still in the vehicle. He’s so huge and he’s around the engine. The only option is for the snake to climb out itself… It’s a protected species I believe, so we are going to wait it out.”

Paramedics waited from around 7:00 on Thursday morning (June 4) until 9:34 in the evening, when the python eventually took its leave.

Twitter users later thanked the ambulance service for looking after the snake while also speculating on what drove the python to crawl into the oily mechanism, with many suspecting that the cold-blooded snake had been attracted to the engine’s heat.

Image via Karunakar Rayker

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