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Marlene Swart, Leon Swanepoel Find Python Under Car Hood In Africa

First Posted: 09/08/12 11:29 AM ET Updated: 09/10/12 01:24 PM ET

The engine was making a mysterious hissing sound.

Marlene Swart, 38, and Leon Swanepoel, 51, were looking for lions in South Africa's Kruger National Park, the Mirror reports, when they stopped their car to speak with some other safari-goers.

They didn't get the king of the jungle, but they got something pretty close.

"We were informed there was a python in the grass," Swart told the Daily Mail. While the pair was trying to spot the snake, it "sailed out of the grass directly in our direction," she said.

The 16-foot snake made straight for their car, disappearing underneath the vehicle. After some trepidation, Swart and Swanepoel opened the hood to find the reptile "relaxing" on top of the engine.

The pair had no choice but to drive the three miles to the nearest look-out before attempting to remove the stowaway snake, according to the Sun.

Swart, Swanepoel, snake and car all got through the ordeal unharmed, although Swart admits she was "terrified."

"I'm only disappointed that I ... didn't take more pictures," she said.