Yellowstone National Park is known for its large wildlife, such as bison, bears and elk, but a tourist visiting the park last week got an up close and personal experience with a different kind of wildlife…a large bull snake.
Alisha Peterson was traveling through Yellowstone with her husband, son and both of her parents. The group was enjoying the final day of their six-day trip and had stopped at one of Yellowstone’s welcome centers for a potty break. When they came out of the bathroom they found a crowd gathered around their Toyota Highlander.
“I thought great, there’s something wrong with the car. But I was wrong. People (were) telling me that a snake had crawled into my car’s engine,” Peterson wrote on Facebook.
Her husband, father, park rangers and other bystanders attempted to pull the snake out, but to no avail. The snake finally escaped after someone poked it from underneath the vehicle. Witnesses estimated the snake to have been at least six feet in length.
Videos of the hour-long rescue effort and eventual exit were posted to social media and shows the startling moment that the large snake emerged from the vehicle’s engine. The snake stretches across the width of the car before a park ranger knocked it to the ground. Screams are heard as the non-venomous bull snake (aka gopher snake) moved directly toward a crowd of onlookers.
Bull snakes are Yellowstone’s largest reptile, growing up to 72 inches long. They are “often mistaken for a rattlesnake because of its appearance and its defensive behavior: when disturbed, it will coil up, hiss loudly, and vibrate its tail against the ground, producing a rattling sound,” the park website reads.
See the video of the snake’s escape by clicking here. Learn more about bull snakes in Yellowstone at the video below.