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Five-foot-long snake trapped behind a car dashboard

Friday, March 13, 2015

How many people does it take to free a snake from a dashboard? The answer: two vets, a veterinary nurse and a mechanic. That wasn’t a poor attempt at a joke, but a strange occurrence that happened at Highcroft yesterday.

A five foot long (1.5m) boa constrictor snake had to be rescued from behind a car dashboard after escaping on its way to the vets.

Mr Miguel Reid, owner of the five year old snake, was on his way to see vet, Vim Kumaratunga when he realised his pet Boa Constrictor (simply called ‘Snake’) was no longer in his rucksack. It had somehow slipped behind the car’s dashboard.

“When I received a phone call saying ‘I need you to get my snake out of my dashboard’, I thought it was someone pulling a prank,” laughs veterinary surgeon, Vim. “After realising it was Mr Reid on his way to our appointment, I rushed out to meet him and called for back-up from a fellow vet, Andy and veterinary nurse, Sam. 

"After finding that the dashboard of the car needed to be taken apart, we enrolled the help of a local mechanic. Thankfully he wasn’t scared of snakes! After three hours and a fair amount of sedation, we managed to free Snake unharmed.” 

Boa constrictors can grow up to 13 feet long and weigh more than 45 kilograms. These large non-venomous snakes are fast becoming very popular pets in the area. 

“Having a large exotic species department at Highcroft Veterinary Group, we do see snakes and unusual pets on a regular basis,” continues Vim, “however that was definitely something I’ve never experienced before!” 

'Snake' spent the rest of the night here at the veterinary hospital to recover from his ordeal and will be returning home to Mr Reid later on today – preferably in something sturdier than the last rucksack.

Catch Vim and 'Snake' on BBC Points West and Made In Bristol TV this evening from 6pm. Or if you're on you're way home have a listen to BBC Radio Bristol for Vim's live interview with Geoff Twentyman.


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