A snake known for being timid gave two women a big scare when they found it in the trunk of their rental car.

The women, who drove Wednesday from Logan International Airport in Boston to an inn in Kennebunk, found a ball python when they arrived and were taking their bags from the car’s trunk.

Kennebunk Deputy Police Chief Dan Jones said officers responded to the Port Inn on Route 1 after getting the call.

“As calls go, this one was pretty strange,” he said.

Apparently, the two women flew into Boston, rented a car at the airport, placed their luggage in the trunk and drove north. Jones said they didn’t notice anything in the trunk when they departed Boston.

However, when they went to retrieve their things from the trunk, the snake, which was at least 4 feet long, was curled up next to their bags.

“They were pretty shaken up,” Jones said. “They wanted a new rental car even after we removed the snake.”

Ball pythons are native to Africa, but are common in the United States as pets. Most pet pythons are bred in captivity, with the adults typically growing to 3 to 5 feet long.

The snakes are not poisonous or aggressive. They get their name from a propensity to curl into a ball when they are sleeping or trying to protect themselves.

Jones said officers lured the python into a pillowcase and took it to police headquarters, where it spent the night in an office.

On Thursday morning, police turned the snake over to the Maine Warden Service, which took it to Sparks Ark Animal Services in New Gloucester.

The two women had checked out of the Port Inn by Thursday morning, according to an employee there. He did not provide their names.

Eric Russell can be contacted at 791-6344 or at:

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Twitter: @PPHEricRussell