Venomous snake hitches a ride with Picton family

Slippery customer: It took five and a half hours to find the snake in the car. Rescuers believe it could have been hiding in this cow skull. Pictures: Native Wildlife Rescue Facebook
Slippery customer: It took five and a half hours to find the snake in the car. Rescuers believe it could have been hiding in this cow skull. Pictures: Native Wildlife Rescue Facebook

A Picton family brought home more than a souvenir from their long-weekend country getaway.

A Native Wildlife Rescue Facebook post reports the family, including daughters aged nine and seven, were returning home from their trip on Monday last week.

The journey was cut short when the woman driving spotted a tiger snake next to her feet. Thanks to some quick thinking, the male passenger helped manoeuvre the car across busy Hume Motorway traffic.

The Native Wildlife Rescue post said all passengers jumped out of the car before Southern Highlands police were called.

"Highway patrol arrived promptly and not only provided a calming influence in a traumatic situation but transported the mother and children to the Mittagong shopping centre," the post read. "On arrival of the [wildlife] rescuer, the snake was spotted briefly on the floor in the rear of the vehicle.

"It was highly alert and disappeared under the rear seat. The next sighting was also fleeting, as the snake disappeared up behind the dashboard."

As the car was parked on the side of the highway the rescuer had trouble locating the snake due to noise and vibrations.

"The snake rescuer drove the car [with the snake in the dashboard] to Mittagong to a quieter, safer environment," the post said. "The removal of a snake from the interior of a motor vehicle is one of the snake rescuer's worst nightmares as there are so many places for it to hide."

After almost five-and-a-half hours the snake finally reappeared, was caught and contained.

"This leaves the question as to how the juvenile tiger snake got into the car in the first place?" the post read.

"The spine-chilling backstory is the children have a small collection of sun-bleached animal skulls.

"They found and picked up a cow skull in good condition from the paddock which they placed on the floor of the front passenger seat.

"On a closer inspection of the skull it was seen the brain cavity provided a suitable and secure refuge for the snake ...

"The kids will certainly have some stories to tell when they are back at school."