TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – As a native Floridian, Tim Mokwa grew up catching snakes. For him, they were just part of the landscape.
“We used to catch snakes on purpose and have a contest to see who could catch the most when we were kids. You know, you mow your parents yard and you saw snakes around,” Mokwa told News Channel 8.
But, seeing a snake pop its head up from the hood of your car in rush-hour traffic is a far cry from mowing the lawn. It’s not exactly what Mokwa was used to in Clearwater.
“I still can’t believe it,” he said. The 37-year-old got the shock of a lifetime Monday evening along US Highway 19 when a six-foot snake began slithering through his engine and up onto the hood of his 2015 Sonata.
“He was just kind of slithering around. He slithered on the hood a little bit. I took out my phone,” Mokwa said.
For most of us, this close encounter would’ve caused some chaos. But, Mokwa took it in stride, kept calm and pulled over into a Walmart parking lot in Dunedin. He did take one extra precaution.
“I did close my AC vents. I was like, ‘I do not want it to sneak in this car.’ It’s a brand new car. I imagine it’s sealed pretty well,” he said.
So, where did the snake come from and why was it in his engine? Turns out, Mokwa was kayaking in Weeki Wachee over the weekend. The snake most likely slept under the hood on the way home. Then, the serpent stayed there for the next two days.
When the reptile reared its head Monday, Mokwa caught it on camera and posted the video to social media. The Clearwater High School gradudate never thought his video would go viral so fast.
He laughed, “It’s crazy. But, snakes come natural in Florida, just like rain in the summertime. I’m just glad it wasn’t poisonous.”