Snake-free New Zealand? Slithery intruder found in ute at South Island town

Local police have slithered into action after a snake was found in a car in Te Anau, near the Fiordland National Park.

A man had arrived at the Te Anau police station on Sunday afternoon to ask for help after spotting the slippery Australian import in his ute.

It was still alive and police managed to secure it in the car.

An image of the snake pictured inside the car.
The sneaky Australian import. Photo credit: NZ Police / Supplied

"Ministry for Primary Industries staff will be dealing with it," a spokesperson told Newshub.

The car had been imported from Australia about three months ago, police confirmed.

It's believed to be a non-toxic Australia tree snake, an MPI spokesperson confirmed to Newshub.

"Our snake team will be there tomorrow to look at removing it from the car in the morning," he said.

While they're common across the ditch in Australia, there are no snakes in New Zealand and it's illegal to deliberately import one or keep one captive. None of New Zealand's zoos or research facilities contain snakes as a result.