A 15-inch ring-necked snake was found slithering around a security checkpoint in Newark Liberty Airport on Sunday night according to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). A child spotted the abandoned thin black snake which has a distinctive yellow band around its neck and reported the unwelcome visitor to a TSA officer.
Thankfully, unlike the 2006 slapstick action film ‘Snakes on a Plane’ which starred Samuel L. Jackson, this snake didn’t actually make it on any plane. In fact, it’s not clear where the snake came from, although it’s thought that the owner decided to dump his or her pet rather than try to smuggle the creature through security.
“It’s common for travellers to accidentally leave items at the checkpoint,” said the TSA’s Chris Murgia. “Typically people leave items such as their keys, sunglasses, ID, hats and gloves, but this is the first time someone has left a snake behind”
“We have a fairly robust lost and found program that reunites passengers with their lost items, but this passenger doesn’t need to call us about his snake.”
TSA officers managed to trap the otherwise harmless snake under a bin and closed one of the screening planes while they waited for Port Authority Police to remove it.
Not that snakes on a plane are a completely unknown occurrence. In 2017, a flight attendant on a Ravn Alaska flight from Aniak to Anchorage had to grab hold of a snake that had made its way into the cabin. She calmly stuffed the snake into a carrier bag and the flight continued on its way without any drama.
Apparently, a passenger had brought the snake on a plane without anyone knowing but it then managed to escape its owner.
Along with forgotten pets and all sorts of other misplaced items, passengers managed to leave behind nearly $1 million worth of loose change at TSA checkpoints last year.