Photo: Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA
PALO ALTO, Calif. - Bus riders in the South Bay had quite a scare after discovering an usual passenger on board with them, a two-foot long python. The snake was found on a bus traveling from San Jose to Palo Alto. No one claimed it so it's now up for adoption.
The two-year-old ball python is now curled up resting peacefully in its cage at the Peninsula Humane Society in Burlingame. Named Rumplesnakeskin since he's shedding, he's had quite the journey discovered on a VTA bus.
“I would be horrified,” said Lizet Tapia of East Palo Alto. “I would be really scared.”
“It’s just unique, a snake on a bus,” said Jose Vicente of Palo Alto.
“Your first inkling is is this really happening?,” said Buffy Martin-Tarbox of the Peninsula Humane Society. “It's not something you don't usually expect to see on any kind of transit bus or anywhere.”
It was back on September 27 just after 7 a.m., passengers made the unusual find on a line 22 bus near the Encina and El Camino Real bus stop in Palo Alto.
“We are really grateful that the people who were on the bus didn't overly panic,” said Martin-Tarbox. “They notified the bus driver there was a snake sitting in one of the seats. We can assume he didn't pay his bus fare.”
From there, Palo Alto Animal Services was called. It was not their typical call.
“The story is he was owned by a transient who was thrown off the bus and by the time the bus made it to Palo Alto, a snake was found,” said Cody McCartney.
An animal control officer found the snake running loose climbing into one of the wall panels of the bus to hide and captured him.
“Luckily it was a nice friendly snake to people,” said Cody McCartney of the Palo Alto Animal Services. “It’s a scary thing to find a snake around your feet of the bus so when our officer arrived, the whole bus was evacuated and another bus was on its way to pick up those passengers.”
VTA said it's the first time a pet has been left behind. The agency allows small pets in carriers and that it's quite possible that the person broke transit rules.
The python stayed at animal control services for some time unclaimed. It’s since been moved to the Peninsula Humane Society’s reptile center now up for adoption.
“No not definitely not me,” said Tapia. “I hate snakes so that wouldn't be me.”
Ball pythons are considered popular pets. The snake will likely grow to be three feet and live to be 30 years old. His adoption fee Is $35 at the Peninsula Humane Society.