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ABC News

Snake slithers out of car bonnet during family road trip on Pacific Highway, NSW

Kerry Jenkins and her family were driving home from their holiday at Darlington Beach, north of Coffs Harbour, when a snake popped into view and slithered onto their car bonnet, taking the family by surprise. 

Ms Jenkins said they were just 30 kilometres from their home in Forster when it happened and they decided to film the encounter.

"It's getting longer!" she exclaims in the video as the snake emerges.

The video, posted on social media platform TikTok, received more than 3.6 million likes and was shared around the world almost 100,000 times.

"I'm pretty overwhelmed," she said.

The incident occurred on the busy Pacific Highway and Ms Jenkins admitted she didn't know what to do. 

"My partner has a snake phobia too," Ms Jenkins said.

As seen in the viral video, the family pulled off the highway when they found a safe turn-off, however, lost sight of the animal.

"When my partner got out it was still on the grill of the car and it slid down onto the ground," Ms Jenkins said.

"That's when my partner said, 'Quick, move the car forward' so it wouldn't get back up," she said.

Much to their surprise though, after completing their drive home, they found the snake huddled in their bonnet again on Tuesday.

"We parked it near the trees up on the lawn [two nights ago] … and then my partner opened the bonnet quite relaxed and then closed it really quickly because it was sitting on the motor," Ms Jenkins said.

"It is actually still in the car.

"A snake catcher is coming today, we've seen it twice but just can't get it."

Ms Jenkins said they stayed at a holiday resort surrounded by rainforest, and suspected that was where the snake entered the car. 

"I had been taking photos of a big carpet python that day so I feel like I jinxed myself," she said. 

Snakes in cars not uncommon 

A Mid North Coast-based snake expert, Stuart Johnson, said the snake in the video appeared to be a common or green tree snake. 

Mr Johnson said the non-venomous species was common in the region, especially during warmer months. 

"It's nothing too unusual," he said. 

Other than potential injuries to the snake, Mr Johnson's other concerns included how long the animal had been travelling for. 

"Trans-relocation is another thing that pops into mind," he said. 

"[Finding] where their point of origin is and trying to successfully get them back to that origin place so they're not too far displaced." 

Mr Johnson said cars tended to have "nooks and crannies" where snakes found refuge and would advise anyone in a similar situation to pull over when safe to do so. 

"Quite often the snake will make its way off the vehicle and on the ground and into the bush, but if it looks like its hanging around and persisting the best course is to get into contact with wildlife rescue groups or locally based snake catchers," he said. 

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