Mon, Apr 20, 2009
Four Baby Pythons Escape Container In Cargo Hold During
Qantas Airways cancelled a Melbourne to Sydney flight last week
when four small baby pythons that had escaped from their shipping
container in the cargo hold could not be found.
Originating in Alice Springs, the flight carried twelve 15
centimeter long (about six inches) Stimson's pythons in a container
described as suitable for the purpose. Qantas staff said the
container was intact when the flight departed, but was short four
snakes by the time it reached Melbourne, a two-and-a-half hour
Upon realizing the snakes had gone AWOL, Qantas workers searched
both the cargo hold of the Boeing 737-800 and all of the
passengers' checked bags in hopes of locating the missing reptiles,
but to no avail.
The Digital Journal reports the scheduled departure to Sydney
was cancelled, the passengers were put on a later flight... and the
airliner was removed from service, for fumigation.
Stimson's pythons are indigenous to western and central
Australia, and not considered a threatened or endangered species.
They are non-poisonous and commonly grow to a length of one meter
(about 40 inches).
With all the news stories of late about light-fingered baggage
handlers, one might wonder if the missing snakes were ever really
on the flight at all -- perhaps ending up in someone's pocket
instead -- resulting in much ado about nothing.
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