A Beck Taxi driver picked up an unexpected and unwanted passenger on December 28th: a baby yellow python.
The python was travelling in the purse of its owner and evidently slithered out somewhere along the route. When the young woman arrived home and realized her pet was missing, she called Beck in a panic and asked if the driver could check his vehicle to see if the python was there.
“The message went out to every tablet in every taxi on the road,” Beck’s service manager Julia Norris told Taxi News, “and then the dispatchers started calling it out verbally across all the radio channels. It was quite a big topic on the air and all the dispatchers were talking about it, trying to locate the driver who transported the woman and her Emotional Support Snake.”
Although the trip was a street hail and therefore not captured by Beck’s call centre, it was memorable in that the python’s owner had stopped at a Rexall drug store on the way home while the cab waited outside. When the driver who had completed that run heard those details from the dispatcher over the radio, he was pretty sure the car they were looking for was his.
“He called into the service manager immediately, and was told to pull over and check his cab. Sure enough, there was the baby yellow python creeping around the back near the rear windshield. The driver jumped out of the car, slammed the door, and notified the Manager that he had located the missing pet.”
Fortunately, Beck Taxis installed plexiglass shields last year to combat COVID-19 so the snake was separated from the driver by a sturdy sheet of plastic. The owner of the python was informed that her snake had been located; she took a second cab over to meet the first, and retrieved it.
“I could write a book about the stuff we find in the back seats of taxis,” Norris sighs, “but this is the first living animal we have ever found. And it had to be a PYTHON.”
Norris added that the dispatchers and drivers were having a jolly good time, sharing comments on the story of the missing “Emotional Support Serpent” and that puns involving “being rattled” were a highlight.
“To be truthful, it has been such a long and stressful year for everyone dealing with COVID, we all really needed a laugh. There was a lot of laughing. The drivers see messages all the time about missing luggage or missing keys or cell phones, but this was the first time a fare ever lost a python.”
The driver of the cab in which the python was located went right back to work after the snake was removed.
“He just went back to work,” Norris notes. “He wasn’t traumatized.”
From the moment the call came in to Beck Taxi’s call centre from the panicked young woman to the point the python was returned to her took just about 40 minutes, Norris notes. “This is one of those stories where it’s important that she called and reached a human being, and human beings did all the work required to locate and return her pet. She did not have to send an email to a customer service department and wait for a response days later – thank goodness for everyone.”