The operator of a private bus service that transports people along Highway 3 in B.C.'s Southern Interior is looking for the owner of a large corn snake, but says his children will be happy to keep the reptile otherwise.
Michael Hathaway, who operates Mountain Man Mike's bus service, says he found the orange and white snake on one of his buses Friday while he was doing maintenance work.
The bus had recently traveled from Vancouver to Kaslo. When Hathaway saw the snake in a heater, he thought it was a discarded toy.
"At first, I thought someone had left it as a joke … like [the movie] Snakes on a Plane," he said. "But when I poked it, it came to life."
Hathaway said he was worried about the animal, which looked scared.
"I was worried it was injured," he said. "Also, the bus was parked in a parking lot for around 16 hours with all the windows sealed, so it was about 120 degrees in that bus."
Hathaway brought the snake home and has it living in a make-shift enclosure. He fed it mice and gave it water.
He called a reptile expert who told him it was a corn snake, which are typically sold in pet stores.
Hathaway believes the snake may have been in a passenger's bag and managed to get loose. He has contacted all the passengers who were on the bus recently and no one has said the snake is theirs.
Hathaway said it's not the first time he's found a live animal on one of his buses.
"I actually had a bear on the bus one time," he said.
"I was in the shop, heard a bang, came outside to see a bear had gotten onto the bus and was eating garbage out of the garbage can."
Hathaway says if the owner is not found, his family is happy to have the snake stay with them
"My kids already named it cream corn and are fighting over whose room it will sleep in," he said.