Local python hitches ride in Zimbabwean farmer's engine bay

Serpentine belts are an integral part of a car's engine. Actual serpents, however, are less so. A farmer in Zimbabwe discovered the latter last week when a massive African rock python decided to take up residence in the engine bay of his Ford Ranger. Ben Mostert, who owns a farm in Karoi, Zimbabwe, posted a video to the internet, showing him and a couple of friends extracting a large python from under his hood while his 5-year-old son cheers him on from inside the cab. The video, which was picked up by CNN along with numerous other media outlets, quickly went viral, and soon the entire world was watching Ben and his unnamed friend gingerly toss this enormous snake into the bush on the side of the road and scamper quickly back to the truck.

Perhaps the funniest part of the whole story is that this wasn't even the first time Ben had tangled with that particular snake. It wasn't even the first time that day. Earlier, Ben had found the python in his chicken house, presumably looking for a mid-morning snack. Not wanting to lose his chickens, Ben captured the snake and wrestled it into a grain sack to transport it. He tossed the agitated snake into his truck and drove to a river about four miles away from the house to release it where it would have a nice place to live far away from humans and livestock.

The snake had other plans, however. When Mostert released it, the snake headed back toward the truck where it slithered up a front wheel and into the engine bay. Unsure what to do next, Mostert hopped in the truck and drove slowly around the area hoping the noise and motion would make the snake leave on its own. It was a good plan, but ultimately futile as the snake seemed determined to stay in the truck. Eventually Mostert stopped and, with the help of some friends, extracted the snake from the truck's engine bay and released it once again into the wild.

Mostert was careful not to harm the snake, which is a member of a protected species in Zimbabwe. While he has had trouble with pythons before, he hopes that this particular snake decides to stay by the river rather than returning to the farm to hassle his chickens.

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