A red-bellied black snake has given a South Australian driver the fright of her life by emerging mid-journey from under the bonnet of the woman’s car.
As Sally Grundy drove back to her home, Mundoo Island Station near the Coorong, the red-bellied black snake reared its head, prompting a moment of panic before Ms Grundy immediately but carefully slowed down.
“I suddenly saw this snake pop up in front of me from just in front of my hand while I was driving,” she said.
“At that point, I wasn’t sure if it was inside or outside the car because it just happened so fast.”
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The encounter was caught on camera by Ms Grundy’s 14-year-old daughter.
“I let out an expletive which my daughter had never heard me say before and she was more worried about me saying that than the snake,” she said.
Then the snake popped up again and then she realised that it really was there. I said to [her] ‘you’ve got to video this because dad is not going to believe me when I tell him there is a snake in the car’.”
Ms Grundy then rang her husband, who contacted a car dealer who advised her to shut off the car’s vents.
“I knew I had an hour to drive so I was trying to nut out what do I do, what’s the safest option … I thought do I stop, pull over?” she said.
“He disappeared and that’s when I really started getting worried. I thought if I don’t shut air vents and just shut everything off in the car, then he’s going to get into the car.”
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Despite the presence of the “windscreen viper”, Ms Grundy decided to keep driving home.
“Every time he disappeared I was really on edge but when he popped his head up, it still frightened me each time he did it but at least I knew he was still under the bonnet,” she said.
“I’m pretty sure I picked him up in a paddock. I’d been mustering the day before and I think he might have flipped up under my car,” she said.
This one I think hitched a ride to Adelaide with me. It went to the Adelaide Oval to watch the Women’s Big Bash League.”
Ms Grundy said she chose not to turn on the windscreen wipers because they “would have aggravated him”.
After making it home safely, Ms Grundy left the snake but was surprised to find it still there the following morning.
“We went and opened the bonnet and it was curled up on the top of the engine in the warmth of the sun,” she said.
“There’s a chance that he’s still in there because they tend to hang around apparently for up to a few days and then they get hungry and then they head off.”
Alarmingly, it is not the first close shave Ms Grundy has had with snakes in recent times.
“I’m absolutely petrified by snakes and I often get quite paralysed because I trod on a Tiger snake about a month ago hooking a trailer up. I’ve had a few close runs lately,” she said.