4-meter African rock python spends night stuck in an ambulance

Ambulance crew affectionately names the snake ‘Monty’ during its 15-hour entrapment in the engine compartment

PHALABORWA, South Africa — After attempting to bite a paramedic and spending 15 hours stuck under and in an ambulance, a 4-meter African rock python slithered its way to freedom.

The paramedics responded to a call for emergency services to a location about a kilometer from Kruger National Park when a woman noticed the snake near a local airstrip. When security personnel tried to prevent the snake from going onto the airstrip it went under the ambulance, reported News 24.   

"It turned around and tried to bite me in the buttocks and then it went under the ambulance,'' paramedic Jaco Gericke said of the incident that began on Thursday.

The massive snake, with a girth about the size of a tire, sought shelter and warmth in the engine compartment. The crew nicknamed the snake Monty.

"It's a protected species I believe, so we are going to wait it out," Gericke said during the night as the crew waited for the snake to leave the car.


The snake left the vehicle unders its own power on Friday.

''By the time she got out, she was too tired to put up a fight,'' said snake expert Zian Van Den Bergh from the Phalaborwa Herpetological Society.

The snake is receiving medical care for a burn or abrasion she sustained from the engine manifold. In few weeks the snake will be released into a local wildlife reserve.

''If we find such a rare and beautiful specimen, which has grown to this size, we try and do everything to protect it,” Van Den Bergh said. “She is a very big female so she is part of the breeding population.''

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