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Last Updated: Friday September 23 2005 18:35 GMT

Snake hitches a ride under bonnet

Corn snake
A snake hitched a ride in a car and gave the driver a shock when it popped its head out from under the bonnet.

Pauline Evans, 41, from Merseyside, was driving home with her 10-year-old daughter when she spotted the reptile slithering across her windscreen.

Unsure if the 1.2m snake was harmful, she pulled into Bootle & Netherton Fire Station and asked for help.

Firefighters caught the snake and the RSPCA later identified the reptile as a non-poisonous corn snake.

Mrs Evans said she was petrified by the unwelcome passenger: "I have a snake phobia, so it was a very traumatic experience."

"My daughter Stephanie thought it was made of rubber, but I could see its tongue moving in and out," she added.

Popular pet

Firefighters praised Mrs Evans' quick thinking.

"Mrs Evans did well to get to the fire station without panicking," said firefighter Gary Bennett.

Corn snakes are the most popular pet snake kept in Britain. They snack on mice and can grow to about 1.8m long.

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