Stowaway snake crawls out of car’s engine compartement in Covina

COVINA — It’s alive.
A snake that slithered into a parked car Sunday and was thought to have disappeared turned up Wednesday morning in the driveway of the man who drove it home from a shopping trip.
“You know what I just got home from school right now and all of a sudden I hear ‘Dave Dave Dave’” said Dave Morelli, 25, of Covina. “There it was on a telephone pole above the wall and I grabbed it.”
Morelli and his family first encountered the snake about 3:30 p.m. Sunday when it wedged itself in the engine compartment of their PT Cruiser during a shopping trip, Morelli said.
Other shoppers at DD’s Discounts, 404 N. Azusa Ave, saw the reptile slithering across the pavement before slipping up into Morelli’s car.
“Somebody in the parking lot saw what they described as a 7- to 8-foot long snake with a diameter the size of a beer can traveling along the asphalt in the parking lot,” Covina police Lt. Tim Doonan said.
After a four-hour search for the beast, Morelli, police and a dozen other shoppers who searched in vain for the animal gave up the hunt.
Still believing the snake might by wedged somewhere in his engine compartement, Morelli packed his girlfriend and two children into the car and drove home with police following behind to watch for the snake.
Police referred the matter to animal control after officers determined, “it was outside their area of expertise,” Doonan said.
Animal control officials were unable do do anything since they couldn’t see the snake, Morelli said, and advised the car owner to call again if the serpent was spotted.
All the excitement surrounding the discovery had pretty much died down — until Wednesday morning.
“We thought he was gone and he’s still here,” Morelli said.
Morelli’s girlfriend Ariane Govea said she hadn’t seen the snake since its capture — and wasn’t about to sneek a peak.
“I haven’t gone out to see it,” she said. “I’m not sure I will.”
Upon capturing the reptile Wednesday morning, Morelli placed it in a box and debated whether or not to keep it. Originally described as a boa constrictor, Morellis said the 5-foot long animal was likely a Burmese Python.
“It’s pretty (ticked) off,” he said. “As for keeping it or giving it away. No one’s claimed it. I want to keep it, but we have to talk about where we go from here.”

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