- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 24, 2001

A 4-foot python slithered from under the dashboard of a rented Toyota Camry and wrapped itself around the leg of a flight attendant driving down Interstate 95 early yesterday morning.
The stewardess was on her way home to Lorton about 2 a.m. when the reptile first appeared from the innards of the Alamo Rent-A-Car. She left the highway, hit the brakes and fled the car on Lorton Road.
A Fairfax police officer spotted her in hysterics, trying to flag people down.
"The officer tried to remove the snake, but it had wrapped itself around something and wouldn't budge," said Alamo spokesman Edward Jones, in a telephone interview at the company's headquarters in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Alamo paid for the car to be towed about 12 miles north to Alexandria, where animal control officers managed to pry the snake loose. The snake was hungry and dehydrated, authorities said.
"We consider ourselves lucky no one was hurt, but we understand that she must have been terrified," Mr. Jones told The Washington Times. He said the woman rented the car two days before, which leaves the car rental company with a cold trail to follow in its investigation of where the serpent came from.
"We don't have a clue how the snake got into the car or if it was in there when she picked [the car] up," Mr. Jones said.
"We maintain a lost and found and usually we will wait and see if someone calls in, but no one has called in about a lost snake," he said.
Alamo gave the unidentified flight attendant her money back. She was on a flight out of town by 11a.m. yesterday.
"I can't recall something like this ever happening to any rental company in recent times — and certainly not to any Alamo customer," Mr. Jones said.
Mary Phelan, director of the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria, which handles animal control for the city, said the snake was unharmed.
"He's getting a bath right now," she said. "We're going to give him a good dinner [freeze-dried mice] and we're going to try to place him in a good home."

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