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Snake on a plane startles passengers on flight from Tampa to Newark

FILE – United Airlines planes are parked at gates at Newark Liberty International Airport in Newark, N.J., on July 1, 2020. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

(NEXSTAR) – Like a scene from a movie, a snake was found slithering aboard a flight earlier this week.

Passengers on a United Airlines flight from Tampa were startled by the slithering reptile while taxiing on the runway at Newark International Airport Monday afternoon, a passenger told News 12 New Jersey.

“After being alerted by passengers, our crew called the appropriate authorities to take care of the situation,” a spokesperson for United Airlines told Nexstar.

Officers from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey were called in to remove the snake, later determined to be a garter snake.

United didn’t respond to Nexstar’s request for additional information, including how the snake may have found its way into the cabin.

A statement from Port Authority wasn’t immediately available Tuesday night.

United has “no weight or breed limitations for pets” flying aboard its planes but notes that only cats and dogs are allowed to travel in-cabin when space is available.

It isn’t the first time a real-life snake has found its way onto a plane.

In 2019, a Scottish woman found a python in her shoe following a 9,000-mile flight from Australia. Three years earlier, passengers aboard a flight to Mexico City were shocked to find a snake dangling from an overhead bin.

A pet snake was left at a TSA checkpoint at Newark Liberty International Airport in 2019. TSA later called it one of the most unusual items found at a checkpoint that year.

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