Huge boa constrictor snake found in carry-on luggage
(CNN) — The strange but fascinating menagerie of animals detected by TSA agents in carry-on luggage at US airports continues in 2023.
This time, the discovery was an old thing made popular in the movies: Snakes on a plane! Well, a boa constrictor measuring over 1 meter 20 centimeters, to be exact. And technically, he never made it to the plane. Still, the case is intriguing.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) tweeted This Friday afternoon the details of what happened at the Tampa International Airport in Florida. The incident was on December 15, TSA spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein told CNN Travel in an email.
In an Instagram post, the TSA made eloquent posts about it:
“Our agents… found it crazy! Wrapped up in a passenger’s carry-on bag was a 4-foot boa constrictor! We really don’t have any pets left to discover in an X-ray machine.”
But the jokes and warnings didn’t stop there.
“Do you have aspirations to take a snake on a plane? Do not be angry because you do not understand the rules of your airline,” they indicated. “For example, airlines don’t allow strings in carry-on luggage, and only a few allow them to slide into checked luggage, if they’re packed properly.”
Farbstein said that the “TSA notified the airline that the woman (owner of carry-on luggage) was ticketed to fly, but the airline did not allow the snake on the plane.”
Boa constrictors are non-venomous snakes that kill their prey by squeezing it between their strong coils. Its natural area goes from the north of Mexico to Argentina.
Other animals, other bags
The boa hasn’t been the only animal nuisance the TSA has had to deal with recently.
Around Thanksgiving, the poor cat named Smells was found in a carry-on bag at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York. The person with the carry-on said that the cat was not his, but that it came from his house. After the ordeal and indignity of it all, Cat Smells was rewarded with a sumptuous Thanksgiving feast.
Not long after, TSA agents found a poor dog stuffed in a carry-on bag at the Dane County Regional Airport in Madison, Wisconsin.
Animals must be removed from carriers, which must pass empty through screening machines, the TSA repeatedly warned.
If you want to travel with your allowed small pet in the cabin of an airplane, the TSA has some helpful tips so you can do it the right and humane way.