A woman is reeling from the shock of finding an 8kg boa constrictor curled up inside her washing machine.
Shirley Oliveira discovered the 2.22 meter snake buried in the appliance last Sunday after her 18-year-old daughter heard a strange noise coming from the top-loader.
A video shows the moment the serpent is caught and held by the head, as it flicks its forked tongue while being removed from the machine.
"When I opened the lid, I got the fright of my life because there was a snake wrapped around the drum with its head poking out,” the married 46-year-old mum of two who lives in Salvador, north east Brazil, said
"I was so scared because I could see the snake was huge. Its body was thick and muscular. I was terrified it might be dangerous."
In fact, the tan patterned cold-blooded creature is normally harmless to humans.
Shirley called the fire brigade and environmental police, however, when neither agency turned up, she asked for the help of veterinary medicine student Joao Paulo Ribeiro.
"I arrived about 11:30 at night and found the snake was still in the appliance. I restrained it by grabbing the head and then tried to pull it out of the machine,” Joao Paulo Ribeiro said.
"It took me over 20 minutes to remove it and it was a struggle right until the end."
The family were petrified that if the creature, which is a nocturnal animal, stayed in the washer overnight it could escape while they were asleep and hide elsewhere in the house.
Footage shot by Shirley shows how every time Joao tries to haul the creature out, the reptile digs in and slithers back into the machine.
"Thank goodness Joao came at the last minute to help us,” Shirley said.
"We used the washing machine last week Thursday and we don't know how the snake managed to slip its way past us and into the machine in between this time.
"I'm just grateful everything worked out well in the end for us and the animal, which was probably just as frightened as we were.
"I'm still having nightmares about finding it in the machine."
The boa constrictor was examined by vets at AASE and found to be healthy, uninjured and a male.
The creature has been released back into the wild by Brazil's Wild Animal Screening Centre.
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