Rescues are what the U.S. Coast Guard does best and in Florida, that apparently includes pulling strange wildlife out of embarrassing predicaments.
“This unexpected stowaway was found napping on a Jayhawk tailwheel,” U.S. Coast Guard Station Clearwater wrote in a Feb. 11 Facebook post. “He reluctantly departed the scene when confronted.”
The intruder was discovered Feb. 9, as Petty Officer 2nd Class Cole Lindvall was doing a post-flight inspection of the MH60 helicopter, officials said.
Lindvall is not a fan of snakes and admits he jumped back in surprise.
“The snake was removed fairly quickly by another crew member on duty who wasn’t afraid of snakes,” station officials told McClatchy News.
“It was released into the grass away from the hangar.”
The snake was identified as a two-foot corn snake, a species native to Florida. They can reach four feet in length and also go by the names chicken snake and red ratsnake, experts say.
Lindvall’s photo of the reptile wrapped in the landing gear had more than 1,500 reactions and comments on Facebook as of Feb. 13. Many offered jokes, while some speculated on the possibilities.
“So they can fall from the airplane into you?” Endil Gamas posted.
“Wait for the news report: flying snake crashes through couples roof,” Ken Marlow wrote.
“Imagine that wrapped around your leg right after take off,” Kelly Gilroy said.
Clearwater is just west of Tampa.