Snake slithers from beneath truck's hood

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PARIS, Tex. (KXII) -- "I was just trying to get some gas, that's it, It was a little wild," said Joey Renfro, who witnessed a wild event Wednesday night.

He and his son went to get gas Wednesday night, not knowing they were walking into his worst nightmare.

"I heard a 'klunk' and then it crawls out the bottom and it starts coming in between my vehicle and theirs and I was like, 'ohhh nooo'," said Renfro.

A five foot long Texas rat snake slithered its way out of the truck parked behind him when he was filling up.

But Paul Crump of Texas Parks and Wildlife says it's not as surprising as it may seem.

"The two most, sort of, logical explanations for what a snake would be doing under the hood of an engine would be warmth and cover," said Cramp.

Renfro says the encounter took him by surprise.

"I hear about it you know and you're like, 'yea, there's not a snake going to come out of my vehicle,' and then in the last three or four days, it's happened three or four times," said Renfro.

Crump says snakes can look for heat in unusual places when their home is disturbed or when weather patterns are abnormal.

"Kind of the cold snaps that occur maybe make them seek temporary shelter in places that they wouldn't usually seek and then if there's a parked car with a warm engine, they may be attracted to that," said Crump.

Crump said Texas Rat snakes are nonvenomous, eat rats and mice and are completely harmless to humans.

Renfro is not convinced.

"I don't care if it's non-venomous or not, it's still a snake," said Renfro.

Crump reminds everyone that snakes are an important part of the Texas ecosystem and unless they threaten to harm you or your family, you should just ignore them.

"Nine times out of ten, the most appropriate thing to do with the snake in that situation is just leave it alone," said Crump.