Flight From Cairns, Australia To Papua New Guinea Had A Stowaway
A 12-foot long scrub python reportedly hitched an unintended ride on a Qantas airplane making a trip from Cairns in Australia's state of Queensland to Papua New Guinea. And while the snake is though to have survived the flight in sub-freezing temperatures at FL300 on the outside of the plane, it was likely destroyed by Papua New Guinea quarantine officials.
A woman on board the flight first noticed the tail of the snake out her window, according to a report in the Sydney Morning Herald. A representative of an airline mechanic's association said it had likely crawled up into one of the airplane's wheel wells to stay warm, and that the wind must have pulled it "straight out" as the flight commenced. Passengers watched through the entire flight as the reptile continuously tried to work its way back into a protected area near the airplanes flap assembly, and was blown back out into view.
The reptile was still moving when the plane landed despite its ordeal. Herpetologists say that the cold-blooded nature of the reptile may have allowed it to survive the flight, but it was likely not so lucky when it arrived at its unintended destination. The paper reports that passengers on the plane say it was probably destroyed by quarantine officials in Papua New Guinea as an invasive species.