Kimberley cop finds 2m python on car bonnet

Nicola KalmarBroome Advertiser
Looma Police Senior Sergeant Neville Ripp with the python
Camera IconLooma Police Senior Sergeant Neville Ripp with the python Credit: Looma Police

A Kimberley cop got a slippery surprise when he found a two metre python stretched out on the bonnet of his police car last night.

Looma Police Senior Sergeant Neville Ripp had just returned from a job and parked up for the night around 8.30pm when he noticed something moving on the bonnet of the vehicle a short time later.

Sen Sgt Ripp said he initially thought the object was rubber from the windscreen, but on closer inspection, found a two metre black-headed python stretched out.

“He was in between the windscreen wiper and lying on the bonnet to get some warmth,” he said.

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“I hadn’t long just got back and the bonnet was still warm.”

Sen Sgt Ripp said pythons were occasionally spotted in the area and that recent heavy rainfall had coaxed the non-venomous reptile to seek warmth and shelter on higher ground.

“They tend to go to higher ground so sometimes on the fences you see them like on the cattle station fences because that area’s flooded and of course they can swim but they don’t really like the water,” he said.

“This time of year, they’re looking for warmth. There’s a lot on the road at the moment, you usually find them in the evenings, just trying to get that last bit of warmth, so they’re missing out on a bit I think from the amount of overcast weather.”

Fortunately for Sen Sgt Ripp, being a long term Kimberley resident and qualified snake handler, the encounter with the scaly camper was more of a baffling surprise than a nasty shock.

“I’ve dealt with a lot of snakes, I’ve been in the Kimberley for a while so I knew what it was and not really that frightened,” he said.

“Just how it virtually got up there…quite nimble to sort of get up on a tyre…or how long it had actually been on there…it might have ridden with me to do the job, I’m not sure.”

The python was returned to the bush.

Sen Sgt Ripp said the incident served as a reminder to people to be aware that more local fauna were out and about as a result of increased rain and flooding.

“More snakes are coming out because of the majority of the land is underwater…if you don’t know anything about snakes, don’t go near them.”

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