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    Mandarin rat snake grounds Qantas Sydney flight

    NewsReptiles and amphibiansThursday 26 September 2013
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    It sounds like something out of the movie Snakes On A Plane but hundreds of passengers on a plane in Sydney bound for Tokyo were stranded in Australia overnight after a snake was found on a Qantas plane. 

    Staff were shocked after they found the 20cm long Mandarin rate snake in the cabin before passengers boarded the Boeing 747 last Sunday.

    Officials are not sure how the snake had managed to get on board the flight except that it was found near the doorway a spokesperson for Qantas said.

    In total there were 370 stranded passengers and they spent the night in hotels across Sydney.

    The snake was taken away and quarantined by the department of Agriculture and officials later had to kill it to make sure it did not introduce with non-native pests or diseases into the country. They later said that a team "was looking into how the snake came to be on the plane, but isn't able to speculate at this time".

    The plane was then fumigated before returning to service in case there were other snakes on board.

    This is not the first time a snake has turned up on a Qantas jet. In January a scrub python was on the wing of one of the airline’s planes as it flew between Cairns and Port Moresby. The python died during the flight.

    The Mandarin rat snake is very common in parts of East Asia and poses no threat to humans. Adults are able to grow up to 1.2 metres long.

     

     

    Source: BBC

    Photo: Wikipedia

     

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