Snakes On A Plane… Again

Snakes on a plane is a ridiculous movie concept, but the release of the movie has certainly helped us all to pay a bit more attention to real-life snakes on a plane scenarios. A Qantas flight from Australia to Japan was delayed for a full day recently when a Mandarin rat snake was discovered on board. Mandarin rat snakes are nonvenomous and small — adults don’t usually grow any longer than seven inches, though this particular snake was eight inches long. The snake was removed and eventually euthanized.

Other stories of snakes on a plane:

95 Live Boa Constrictors On A Plane
4 Snakes On A Plane
4 Baby Pythons On A Plane
Thousands Of Snakes On A Plane
14 Royal Pythons On A Plane

Abu Dhabi police find snakes on a plane … and squirrels and parrots

You know that the United Arab Emirates is not to be outdone, right? So, when an 89-year-old lady’s dog gets loose on an American flight, the Middle East has to find a way to trump it. And, you know it was better than a dog and a cat or an angry monkey.

On a flight from Indonesia to the United Arab Emirates, a passenger was reported to have “four snakes, two parrots and a squirrel inside a box” … not to mention other animals! I seriously want to know how the hell this stuff made it onto the plane!

Though the police in Abu Dhabi didn’t reveal the snake species, a newspaper in Dubai hit up a few experts and said they were “reticulated and blood pythons, both non-venomous,” according to the Associated Press.

[photo by goingslo via Flickr]

Snakes on a plane – for real?

First it was monkeys, and now this. A Malaysian man pleaded guilty to smuggling after 95 live boa constrictors burst out of his bag on a luggage belt in the Kuala Lumpur International Airport last week.

Ken Liang “Anson” Wong, 52, was charged with exporting the snakes without a permit, said Shamsuddin Osman, a Malaysian wildlife department official. He will face six months in prison and the equivalent of a $50,000 fine, said Faridz Gohim Abdullah, a prosecuting officer representing Malaysia’s wildlife department. The maximum fine for this crime is up to seven years in jail.

Previously, Wong was sentenced to nearly six years in a U.S. prison in 2001 after he was found guilty of running an animal smuggling ring between Asia and Africa. He was arrested in Mexico in 1998. It is unknown if he served the full six-year sentence.

The most recent arrest took place as Wong was en route to Jakarta, Indonesia. The bag was also found to contain several other snakes and a turtle.

The criminal charges involve the boa constrictors only, because the other animals are not listed as endangered. All of the animals are alive and under the care of wildlife officials, Shamsuddin said.

In July, parliament passed a new law to punish poachers and smugglers more severely, but the act has not yet taken effect.

Activists are urging the government to seek the maximum seven year sentence against Wong, but it prosecutor Abdullah said he was planning to discuss with other government authorities whether to appeal the court’s ruling and seek a tougher sentence.

Image courtesy of

Customs finds snakes and geckos strapped to passenger

The fine folks at Travelocity did a poll a couple of months ago to find out the most annoying type of passenger to be seated next to on an airplane. People with poor hygiene and those who cough or sneeze came out on top, but there’s one category they missed–the guy with reptiles strapped to his body.

Customs officials in Norway have arrested a man who had 14 royal pythons and 10 albino leopard geckos hidden under his clothing. He had rolled up the pythons in socks and put the geckos inside boxes, and then taped them to his chest and legs. The animals had a total value of about $10,000.

While that’s pretty high on the ick scale, the scariest thing is that officials didn’t become suspicious until they did a routine check of his luggage and found a tarantula, at which point they searched him. This amazing video shows him all geared up and ready to fly.

This story begs the question–how often do people get away with this? How often have you sat next to someone covered in creepy crawlies? And how would you know?

Enjoy your flight!


Passenger on Southwest flight stung by scorpion

First snakes on a plane, now scorpions.

Doug Herbstommer was traveling from Phoenix to Indianapolis on Southwest Airlines and was apparently carrying some non-TSA approved items in his carry-on. As he was rummaging through his bag, he was stung by a scorpion, identified as an Arizona bark scorpion, which had presumably gotten into his bag in Phoenix and come along for the ride. The sting of this kind of scorpion is rarely fatal and Herbstommer was treated when the plane landed in Indianapolis.

Several more baby scorpions were found in Herbstommer’s luggage and in the overhead bin of the plane. They were removed and the jet was fumigated as a precaution.

[via USA Today]