Osoyoos rattlesnake hitches ride to Vancouver in Ferrari

Dr. Adrian Walton still can't believe how a northern Pacific rattlesnake wound up in his Maple Ridge veterinary clinic.

"It's like, 'Oh my God, this is the coolest story,'" said the Dewdney Animal Hospital vet.

It all started in Osoyoos, when employees from the Vancouver Ferrari dealership were enjoying a company retreat. As they left, a snake managed to make its way into a vehicle's undercarriage, tagging along for the nearly 400-kilometre journey back to Vancouver.

"The odds of that animal staying in the undercarriage is remote," said Walton.

The next day, employees at the dealership discovered a new slithery salesman in the storage room. The dealership reached out to the Wildlife Rescue Association, who then transported the snake to Walton, a veterinarian with plenty of experience with exotic animals.

"The coolest part of this story is when we got it and examined it, we noticed it had a green bit of paint at the end of the rattles," said Walton.

Walton recognized the mark likely meant the snake was part of a research project, so he then scanned the snake for a microchip.

"We not only know where it comes from, we know, to the rock, to the bush, where this animal has to be released to," said Walton, adding that the snake is part of Nk’Mip snake project, based out of the Nk’Mip Desert Cultural Centre.

Walton's family was so touched by the story, they've decided to go on their own Father’s Day road trip this Sunday to return the snake to its natural habitat.

"We're going to take it to the cultural centre and release it," he said.

No luxury Ferrari this time, though. The snake will be traveling via the Walton family's Toyota Tacoma. Walton decided to name the snake "Enzo," a tribute to the founder of Ferrari, the late Enzo Ferarri.