WATCH: Florida deputy grabs snake, pulls it from car engine

LEHIGH ACRES, Fla. (WFLA) — A Florida deputy was called in for a slight false alarm when a resident needed help getting a snake out of their car engine.

According to the Lee County Sheriff's Office, a resident in Lehigh Acres called for help after supposedly finding a "15-20 foot python" tangled in their car's engine compartment.

Since Sgt. Van Pelt was a licensed python contractor, he responded, expecting to find a giant python.

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Instead, he found a smaller red rat snake, which was just trying to warm itself in the compartment.

While red rat snakes can reach impressive sizes, they get nowhere near as big as the invasive Burmese python, which averages about 16 feet in length but can exceed lengths of 22 feet. Police didn't say how long this red rat snake was.

Unlike the Burmese python, the red rat snake poses no threat to humans. Instead, the native rat snakes help keep rodent populations under control.

Van Pelt took the snake out of the car and set it free in some woods nearby.

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