Thursday, December 3, 2009

Snakes on a plane

Pythons escape on Australian flight  4/16/09
     "In scenes reminiscent of the cult movie, four baby pythons escaped on a passenger plane in Australia, leading to a prolonged search of the aircraft and forcing the cancellation of two flights, the airline confirmed today." 
     The plane missed a couple of flights while they searched without success for the snakes, then fumigated the plane.  No doubt they crawled into some tiny space, then died.  That smell...?

Snakes and spiders shipped by air  9/25/08
Five exotic snakes and two spiders were found by Australian customs agents when they x-rayed a package, and found something inside different from the declaration.  The package had arrived by air.

I hope he wasn't flying 
     "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."

Poisonous snakes found on a plane to Amsterdam  7/15/06
     "Dutch customs officials found a live poisonous snake in a package sent by airmail from Hong Kong to a collector in the Netherlands.  Officials said customs inspectors thought the snake was a rubber gag gift when they first scanned the package."  They changed their mind when they noticed it moving, and opened the package.

OK, not snakes... but the next best thing  11/14/09
     An Englishman was arrested at Rio de Janiero's airport while trying to leave the country with 1000 spiders packed into two suitcases.  The spiders were confiscated and sent to the National Museum.  Imagine, 1000 spiders in the overhead luggage compartment, over your seat....

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Commentary: Pretty similar to what happens with a rat on a plane--they have to search the plane and fumigate it.  The difference--nobody tries to smuggle a rat.

Given the huge illegal trade in exotic animals, that pudgy, jumpy guy sitting next to you probably has... snakes hidden under his coat. 

If you look hard enough, you can find almost anything on a plane.  Once, during a transatlantic fight on a jumbo jet, I was walking about, stretching my legs.  At the rear of the cabin was a small door, left ajar.  Most of the passengers were asleep, and the flight attendants were elsewhere.  So I pushed the door open, and looked beyond.  There, in a very large crate with open slats, was a.... horse!

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