Snake hitched ride on private jet to Auckland Airport

Publish Date
Tuesday, 28 March 2017, 7:46AM
The snake is possibly a brown tree snake from Australia. Photo / MPI

The snake is possibly a brown tree snake from Australia. Photo / MPI

A snake was snared at Auckland Airport yesterday after it hitched a ride on a private jet.

The snake was spotted on the tarmac at Auckland Airport yesterday. It was initially contained with a bucket by airport staff.

MPI Manager North Passenger Craig Hughes said a MPI snake handler was quickly on scene and captured the unwanted stowaway.

The snake has yet to be identified, although it is likely to be a brown tree snake. This species is not regarded as particularly dangerous to humans, but could severely harm New Zealand's native bird population, Hughes said.

"It appears the snake had crawled into the wheel housing of a private jet that arrived from Brisbane."

The aircraft had been parked in a remote bay in Brisbane for six weeks before coming to New Zealand.

MPI staff searched the plane and tarmac area, but found no sign of any other snakes. Hughes said the snake was in a poor condition when captured, but still alive. It is likely to be euthanised after consultation with the Department of Conservation.

"This is clearly a one-off hitchhiker.

"We don't have a snake population in New Zealand. Biosecurity officials are doing their best to make sure it stays that way."

Biosecurity staff snare live snake at Auckland Airport. Photo / MPI
Biosecurity staff snare live snake at Auckland Airport. Photo / MPI

This article was first published on NZ Herald and is republished here with permission.