FLORIDA, United States, Wednesday July 11, 2018 – A woman who was headed to Barbados on Sunday was not only prevented from getting on her flight, but was fined after Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents at the Miami International Airport discovered she had a snake hidden in a computer hard drive in her checked bag.
The traveller was not named.
“The snake, that didn’t get on a plane thanks to our officers’ diligent screening, had been artfully concealed inside the electronics of a hard drive and placed in a checked bag headed for a flight to Barbados,” TSA spokesperson Sari Koshetz said.
It was while the passenger’s bag was being screened that a TSA officer saw an “organic mass”. A TSA bomb expert who was called into the baggage screening room to investigate the hard drive discovered a small, live Ball Python in a nylon stocking.
The United States Fish and Wildlife Services subsequently took away the reptile and fined the passenger.
“While this mass inside the electronic device was obviously not an imminent terrorist threat to the travelling public, the interception did prevent a possible wildlife threat on an aircraft. Animals of many species have been known to escape and chew through wires with fatal results,” Koshetz said.
Agent Neville Flynn would be extremely proud of our officers at the Miami International Airport (MIA). You see, Agent Flynn has HAD IT with snakes on planes, and our officers prevented a young Ball Python from flying the friendly skies this past Sunday. … A traveler on her way to the Grantley Adams International Airport (BGI) in Barbados attempted to smuggle the snakelet inside of an external hard drive packed in her checked bag. If you think airplane seats can feel constricting, imagine how this little guy felt! Talk about bad memories! … While the python itself posed no danger to anyone on the aircraft, an organic item concealed inside electronics raises security concerns, which is why our officers took a closer look. … The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service ( @USFWS ) was notified. They responded and took possession of the snake and cited the traveler. Both the traveler and the snake missed their flight. … Conversationally, this python had not gone full monty. It was wearing a nylon stocking. … #SnakesOnPlane #SnakesAlmostOnAPlane #MIA #BGI #Miami #Barbados
News of the discovery that a traveller was trying to smuggle a snake through the Grantley Adams International Airport did not come as a surprise to one professional in the animal care business in Barbados.
He told online newspaper Barbados Today that the reptile black market is alive and well in the island, with some being sold for hundreds of dollars.