You might expect to find snakes in Australia rather than Austria, but one Austrian driver got a shock after finding a two metre long snake dangling below her car’s engine.
Monika Ortner from Radenthein, in southern Austria told the Austrian Times: “I had the car parked in the garage and when I drove out and climbed out to shut the garage door, I noticed something hanging down under the car.”
The 28-year-old added: “I couldn’t believe it when I realised it was slowly wriggling into the car.”
“It was surprisingly good at evading capture, despite its size.”
Not knowing what to do she called local car breakdown service, ARBOe, telling them that there was no way she could drive the car with the snake curled up around the engine.
As Ortner was too scared to even go anywhere near the vehicle, which was still parked on her driveway, the engine was left running when the recovery truck turned up. One of the mechanics, Christian Pirker, said they managed to identify the snake as a non-venomous Aesculapian, one of Europe’s largest species.
Knowing that the snake was not venomous, mechanics started to dismantle the car in attempt to retrieve it.
However, the task was not without difficulties: "The problem was that every time we almost managed to catch it, it went into a different part of the engine.” Pirker said. “It was surprisingly good at evading capture, despite its size.”
After three hours mechanics and one of Ortner’s neighbours finally managed to fish out the snake and reassemble the engine. Once caught, the evasive reptile was placed in a plastic bin and taken into the forest where it was released.
Austria is home to a handful of snakes, some of which can give a painful, though non-fatal bite.