AP [Ed. note: Monkey-fighting snakes on a Monday-to-Friday plane…]
A tiny Asian snake was found on a Qantas Boeing 747 airliner in Australia, leading to 370 passengers being grounded overnight.
Staff found the 20-centimeter (8-inch) Mandarin rat snake in the passenger cabin near the door late Sunday before passengers were due to board the flight bound for Tokyo from Sydney International Airport, Qantas said in a statement Monday.
Australia’s flagship airline said passengers were given hotel rooms and left Sydney on a replacement plane Monday morning. Qantas said the original jet would be fumigated before returning to service in case there were other snakes on board.
The snake was taken by quarantine officials for analysis.
The Agriculture Department said the snake, a species that grows to an average 1.2 meters (4 feet), had been euthanized, “as exotic reptiles of this kind can harbor pests and diseases not present in Australia.”
The department said the snake had arrived aboard the jet in a flight a day earlier from Singapore.