‘I was so happy’: Ball python found in U-Haul truck reunited with 14-year-old owner

14-year-old Dion Jones thought he lost his pet python until a U-Haul manager found the snake.
Published: Mar. 12, 2023 at 5:11 PM EDT
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HENRICO, Va. (WWBT/Gray News) - A slithery surprise inside a U-Haul truck turned into a happy ending for a Virginia family as they were reunited with their pet ball python.

The reunion took place after Megan Hamm, an area field manager with U-Haul, found the creature on the passenger side of a U-Haul rental truck on Wednesday.

Virginia Wildlife Management and Control then took the snake to his owner, 14-year-old Dion Jones.

Dion thought he had lost the pet python less than two weeks ago during his move from Winchester to Norfolk.

“We have a little enclosure for our snake,” he told WWBT. “When he had to shut the lid, I guess the lid wasn’t fully closed because there was already a little rip inside of it. So, the snake must’ve got through that while we were sleeping.”

The next morning, Dion said the snake was nowhere to be found.

“We looked inside the back of the U-Haul, we couldn’t find it nowhere,” he said. “We looked inside the engine, under the floorboards, inside the little silver thing that holds the engine, and we couldn’t find it nowhere.”

The snake also has an emotional connection with Dion. The 14-year-old said the python is named after his father, Nate, who passed away last May.

“I got locked up for something dumb, so I was inside of a group home kind of thing,” Dion said. “Once I was supposed to get out, my dad was supposed to buy me a snake, but it never happened.”

For Dion, the pet python was considered a “spiritual animal.”

Sadness over losing his pet turned to hope when Hamm discovered the python.

“Opening up the truck, that was kind of a shock,” Hamm said. “I’ve got to act quickly. It’s too cold.”

Virginia Wildlife Management and Control stepped in to help the snake, which was found “unresponsive.” After crews stayed up all night with the snake, it began to show signs of improvement.

Hamm contacted Jones and his family to tell them their pet python was found.

“My mom called me and said they found the snake,” Dion said. “I was so happy. I was like, for real? Like, they actually found it, and we can get the snake back?”

The slithery surprise turned into a happy ending.

“This entire journey over the last 48 hours has been surreal,” Hamm said.

Richard Perry, the owner of Virginia Wildlife Management and Control, said the reunion is a story he’ll never forget.

“One gentleman asked us, out of all the stories that we’ve done over the years and everything, which one ranks the highest? This, by far, ranks at the top of the chart,” he said.

Dion said his pet python is never leaving his side and he’ll be keeping a closer eye on it.