‘I’m happy’: Ball python found inside U-Haul truck reunited with family

The python was named after 14-year-old Dion Jones’ father, who passed away last May.
14-year-old Dion Jones thought he lost his pet python until a U-Haul manager found the snake.
Published: Mar. 10, 2023 at 5:51 PM EST
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HENRICO, Va. (WWBT) - A slithery surprise inside a U-Haul Truck turned into a happy ending for a family in Norfolk as they reunited with their pet ball python.

14-year-old Dion Jones reunites with his pet python, "Nate."
14-year-old Dion Jones reunites with his pet python, "Nate."(Source;WWBT | WWBT)

Virginia Wildlife Management and Control reunited 14-year-old Dion Jones with his pet python, Nate, after Megan Hamm, an area field manager with U-Haul, discovered the animal on the passenger side of a U-Haul rental truck on Wednesday in Henrico.

A U-Haul manager found a ball python inside of a rental truck.
A U-Haul manager found a ball python inside of a rental truck.(Source;WWBT | WWBT)

“Are you happy now?” asked someone during the reunion. “Yes, I’m very happy,” replied Dion.

Less than two weeks ago, Dion thought he had lost his pet python during his move from Winchester to Norfolk.

“We have a little enclosure for our snake,” said Jones. “When he had to shut the lid, I guess the lid wasn’t fully closed because there was already a little rip inside of it. So, the snake must’ve got through that while we were sleeping.”

The next morning, Jones said his pet python was nowhere to be found.

“We looked inside the back of the U-Haul, we couldn’t find it nowhere,” he said. “We looked inside the engine, under the floorboards, inside the little silver thing that holds the engine, and we couldn’t find it nowhere.”

Pet python found in U-Haul truck.
Pet python found in U-Haul truck.(Source;WWBT | WWBT)

The snake also has an emotional connection with Dion. His pet python is named after his father, Nate, who passed away last May.

“I got locked up for something dumb, so I was inside of a group home kind of thing,” said Dion. “Once I was supposed to get out, my dad was supposed to buy me a snake, but it never happened.”

For Dion, the pet python was considered a “spiritual animal.”

Sadness over losing his pet turned to hope when Hamm discovered the python.

“Opening up the truck, that was kind of a shock,” said Hamm. “I’ve got to act quickly. It’s too cold.”

Virginia Wildlife Management and Control stepped in to help the snake, which was found “unresponsive.” After staying up with the pet python all night into Thursday morning, the snake showed signs of improvement.

Hamm contacted Jones and his family to tell them their pet python was found.

“My mom called me and said they found the snake,” said Jones. “I was so happy. I was like, for real? Like they actually found it, and we can get the snake back?”

A slithery surprise turned happy ending.

“This entire journey over the last 48 hours has been surreal,” said Hamm.

For Richard Perry, owner of Virginia Wildlife Management and Control, this is a story he will never forget.

“One gentleman asked us, out of all the stories that we’ve done over the years and everything, which one ranks the highest? This, by far, ranks at the top of the chart,” he said.

Dion said his pet python is never leaving his side and will be keeping a closer eye on the snake.