10-foot Python Removed from Under Car Hood in Florida

by Chris Haney

On Thursday, authorities in Dania Beach, Florida removed a 10-foot Burmese python from underneath the hood of a blue Ford Mustang.

According to officials, a person at an auto repair shop in the area found the enormous snake. The Mustang’s check engine light turned on so the individual opened the car’s hood to check on it. In what had to be a shocking discovery, a huge python had made itself at home coiled up inside the car’s engine compartment. The shop immediately called wildlife authorities, WSVN reported.

Authorities responded promptly and safely captured the massive reptile. Additionally, they received help from a local man named Gerard Doffay who was at the scene. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission reported the issue in a tweet, adding a photo of the curled up python.

“We received a call about a python under the hood of a Mustang!” the FWC tweeted. “Officers removed the 10′ invasive snake. If you see a Burmese python or other invasive species, report it to the Hotline at 888-Ive-Got1. #daniabeach #python #snake”

WSVN spoke with Doffay, who helped wildlife authorities wrangle in the snake.

“That was at least 20 feet,” Doffay said of the snake’s size. “It was a big snake. That thing had a girth of about 7 inches.”

After someone at the auto repair shop opened the car hood and found the reptile, they ran next door to ask for Doffay’s help.

“I thought, ‘OK, I’ll go and help them. I’ll yank it out from under the hood of their car,'” he explained, not realizing its size. “I wasn’t expecting that python underneath the hood of the car.”

Python Removed From Mustang Caught on Video

Doffay said he waited on the wildlife authorities to arrive. Then he jumped in to help the first responders as they fought to remove the python. Doffay says it ended up taking four people to wrestle the large snake into a bag.

“He grabbed it by the back of the head,” Doffay recalled of the removal. “He started pulling it towards him. And I saw an opportunity to help and get it out from underneath the sway bar. So we grabbed it out. By that time, it was around his hands. I had to help pull his hands out from inside the coils, and we tried putting it in the bag three or four times. Eventually, it took four people.”

On Friday, the FWC also shared a video of the snake removal, in addition, to their previous photo.

Although it isn’t clear what happened to the snake, authorities did wrap it up and remove it from the premises. Doffay says he thinks the enormous reptile snuck into the car from a nearby lake since the Mustang sat outside overnight.

Burmese pythons have quickly become a serious environmental problem in the Everglades of Florida. They are an invasive species that will eat almost anything in their path with no natural predators to contain them outside of the occasional alligator. The record for biggest python captured to date in South Florida is one that measured more than 18 feet long.

In an effort to remove invasive pythons from Florida, the FWC has created multiple programs that allow public participation in Burmese python removal and management efforts.