Snake on a Plane: Unwelcome Passenger Cancels Tokyo-Bound Flight

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Department of Agriculture / AP

This photo released by Australia's Department of Agriculture, shows a 20-centimeter (8-inch) Mandarin Rat Snake that was found in the passenger cabin of a Qantas Boeing 747 airliner, in Sydney, Monday, Sept. 23, 2013.

A Qantas flight from Sydney to Tokyo was canceled Sunday when a small snake was discovered in the doorway of the Boeing 747.

The Australian airline—apparently unable to track down Samuel L. Jackson in time—will be forced to have the plane “fumigated” in case other serpents are on board, a Qantas spokesperson told The Guardian. Passengers were provided an alternate Boeing 747 for their flight, which was delayed until Monday morning.

The snake, just over half a foot long, was identified as a Mandarin rat snake, a species commonly found in Asia. The nonvenomous reptile was euthanized by the Department of Agriculture.

It wouldn’t have been the first time Qantas passengers shared a flight with a ticket-less serpentine passenger.  In January, a 9-foot scrub python held onto the wing of a plane for much of a two-hour flight, in view of the passengers, before dying.

[The Guardian]