New Jersey: The unexpected appearance of a snake on a plane sent passengers into a panic on Monday at the end of a flight from Florida’s Tampa city to New Jersey and called the workers at Newark Liberty International Airport to catch the reptile.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said in a statement that the airport’s wildlife operations staff and Port Authority Police Department officers met United Flight 2038 at the gate and removed the ‘garter snake’ and later on released it into the wild, according to The Washington Post. The statement further added that no one was injured and operations were not affected. In a statement, United said passengers alerted the crew to the snake, and the airline ‘called the appropriate authorities to take care of the situation’.
The Washington Times reported citing local media of New Jersey, News 12 New Jersey, that the passengers flying in business class spotted the snake while the plane was taxiing after landing. Passengers started shrieking and pulling up their feet, according to the TV station. After the snake was removed, passengers deplaned with their baggage, and the plane was searched for any other reptiles crawling aboard and found none, according to the New York Post citing Simple Flying.
The common garter snake is found in every Florida county and is not venomous or aggressive toward humans, according to The Washington Times citing the Florida Museum of Natural History. The snakes, which are typically between 18 and 26 inches long, will tend to avoid direct contact with humans or pets and only bite if ‘intentionally molested’. Garter snakes are also common in New Jersey, according to The Washington Times citing the ‘Snakes of New Jersey’ pamphlet published by the state.
Earlier, in February, a similar incident took place on an AirAsia flight in Malaysia when the passengers found a snake while the plane was in the air. The viral Tik Tok video from the flight showed that the reptile was inside a light fixture above passengers. Meanwhile, in 2016, a large snake — believed to be a venomous green viper — emerged from an overhead compartment on an Aeromexico flight in Mexico, according to The Washington Post. A passenger’s video posted on Twitter shows the creature hanging from the ceiling of the plane, which received priority landing clearance when it reached Mexico City.