Snakes on a plane force Qantas to ground flight – Telegraph



In scenes reminiscent of the 2006 cult film Snakes on a Plane, four of 12 Stimson’s pythons escaped during a two and a half hour flight from Alice Springs to Melbourne.

On the ground in Melbourne, staff were unable to find the escapees among the luggage in the hold and the aircraft was removed from service.

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Joe Aston, Qantas spokesman, said the 12 juvenile pythons measured about six inches in length and were travelling in "an appropriate" container. He said it was not clear how the four had escaped.

"While (the container) was intact on departure (from Alice Springs), it was discovered on arrival that four of those animals had broken free," he told the Australian Associated Press.

Snake experts said the reptiles had probably slithered into the wamest parts of the plane, such as a motor or heater unti..

However, the company did not want to run the risk of the snakes reappearing mid-flight, so after establishing that the species was not threatened or endangered, the aircraft was fumigated to kill the four pythons.

The plane is now back in service.

Native to the arid and rocky parts of western and central Australia, the Stimson’s python eats its prey whole — and this includes small mammals, birds, frogs and other reptiles.

The snake, which grows to between 20 and 40 inches, is not venomous.

They are common as pets and can live for more than 20 years.


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