A Traveler Left Their Snake on the Floor at an Airport Security Checkpoint

Courtesy of the TSA

Recently I wrote bitterly about how, if miniature horses were allowed on commercial flights, then certainly my gentle california king snake should have the right to fly, too. I wasn’t the first person to desire this; for example, just last year, a bold passenger snuck 20 snakes onto a plane by hiding them in his luggage, empowering reptile lovers everywhere. Thing is, it’s hard to sneak a snake onto a plane if you’re the kinda person to forget the damn thing at a TSA checkpoint.

On Monday, TSA officials at Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey saw a 15in ringneck snake on the floor of Terminal C. Certain the snake wasn’t getting his bag checked, they sprung into action. One of the officials grabbed a bin, threw it on the little guy, and promptly called the police. The lane was shut down while the situation was addressed. 

New Jersey Federal Security Director Tom Carter said it’s common for people to forget things at checkpoints, but this was the first time a snake was left behind. “We have a fairly robust lost and found program that reunites passengers with their lost items,” he said in a statement. “But this passenger doesn’t need to call us about his snake.”

The ringneck snake is harmless and quite common in the United States. Plus. they’re nocturnal! So it’s a treat to see them out in the open!....!!!...:)!!!.... Please destigmatize snakes. 

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Ruby Anderson is a news writer for Thrillist.