HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — A local U-Haul manager was in for a slithery surprise when she opened a rental truck’s door to find a 2-3 ft. python on the vehicle’s floor. With the help of social media, Virginia’s Wildlife Management and Control team learned the reptile was a Newport News pet.
Virginia Wildlife Management and Control’s, Richard Perry, described his experience first checking in on the snake.
“We didn’t even think it was alive,” Perry explained. “It was frozen.”
Wildlife crews determined it was a non-venomous python — not native to central Virginia. The team spent all night working to revive the creature.
“We didn’t even think it would make it through the night,” Perry said. “It was in very, very bad shape.”
In addition to caring for the python all night, the team sat puzzled, trying to figure out how it ended up in a U-Haul in Henrico. They quickly learned it did not belong to the vehicle’s previous renter.
“The previous driver was driving around with a three-foot python in the vehicle, in the cab, and had no idea the snake was there,” Perry exclaimed.
Eventually, Perry and his crew took to social media to try to spread the word about the scaly hitchhiker.
“By the grace of God,” Perry started. “Because of our Facebook post, [word] just went around and got back to [the snake’s owner].”
With the mystery solved, the owner has since reached out and arranged a reunion with her pet. It turns out the owner had rented a U-Haul previously and thought her snake had gone missing somewhere along the trip she used it for. She had no idea her snake had remained in the truck and hitchhiked across the state.
8News is told there will be a heartwarming reunion to come between the Newport News family and the python, which they say is more than a pet and has a personal meaning to the family. Until more information is released about that upcoming reunion, the wildlife team is grateful the python is alive and survived such an unusual journey.
“It’s going to be an extremely … very cool, very touching, very emotional, but very exciting story,” Perry said.