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Snake on a Plane: Stowaway Hitches Ride in Tourist's Shoe

Woman 'absolutely lost it' when she found the snake while unpacking
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 25, 2019 12:17 PM CST
Stock photo.   (Getty Images / Pasionated about photography and design)

(Newser) – During her vacation in Australia, Moira Boxall got a scare when she saw a snake in her room. A few days later, upon her return home to Scotland, she got an even bigger scare when she unpacked a pair of shoes ... and the snake was inside one of them. Turns out the spotted python had somehow hitched a ride more than 9,000 miles without being detected, ABC.net reports. Boxall's daughter and son-in-law went on holiday with her, and she called them when she spotted the snake in the hotel; it was gone by the time they got to the room, the Scotsman reports, and her son-in-law downplayed just exactly how common snakes are in central Queensland. "She actually thought that Sarah and I had put a fake snake in her shoe to wind her up, so at first she thought it was a joke until she touched it and it moved," her son-in-law says.

At that point, "she absolutely lost it," he says, but she managed to get the shoe—complete with snake inside—to her garden, where she put a box over it. The family called the RSPCA, which came out and confirmed it was just a spotted python—coming from Australia, it could have been a venomous species, but spotted pythons are non-venomous, STV News reports. The snake, which shed its skin while curled up in Boxall's shoe during the flight, is currently quarantined at an RSPCA animal rescue center, and could eventually end up in a Glasgow zoo. As for Boxall, 72, her son-in-law says a friend unpacked the rest of her suitcase just in case there were any more surprise travel companions. (A scorpion hitched a ride on a plane and delayed the flight.)

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