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Posted by Donovan on November 05, 1999 at 04:51:06:
Earlier this summer I legally captured a large northern watersnake to add to my collection of Illinois snakes. After a couple weeks I decided it would be better to keep a younger specimen, since adult watersnakes aren't the most docile creatures. But on the way to the release site (where it was captured) it had found a small whole in the pillow case and had escaped. We then pulled off the road to search the car while attempting to explain the situation to other motorists who were asking what was wrong. Needless to say none of them helped us.
After some extensive searching we gave up. We thought the snake had already somehow gotten outside the car. But as we started to get in the car later that afternoon, we seen the watersnake dart up into my dash. For the next three hours we took turns laying upside down in the scorching July heat with our faces inches away from the angry snake (keep in mind watersnakes have barbed teeth and short tempers!). We tried proding it out, but it would just move to another part of the dash.
I now had to leave for work and was concerned the snake would get cooked and then start to rot in my parked car. Even worse, I feared the snake would crawl out sometime when my wife was driving and cause a serious accident! However, on my way to work I hit a bump on the road that scared the snake out. Once again I pull over while the snake goes under the passenger seat. After grabbing a stick from a ditch I chased the snake out from under the seat. But as it starts to go back into the dash I BARELY grab it by the tail until it drops back down. Before it has a chance to bite me I quickly sling it out into the ditch. There were a few small ponds nearby so I figured the snake would be okay.
I got to work on time, but I now transfer all but the smallest snakes in the trunk.