A traveler left a pet snake behind at a TSA checkpoint

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A snake was left at a Transportation Security Administration checkpoint at Newark Liberty International Airport, Aug.18, 2019. (Photo: TSA)

NEWARK, NJ (ABC) — It wasn’t quite “Snakes on a Plane.”

A 15-inch thin, black snake with a yellow band around its neck was discovered Monday night on the floor of a Transportation Security Administration checkpoint in Terminal C at Newark Liberty International Airport by a “youngster,” according to the TSA. A TSA officer then contained the ring-necked snake in one of the gray checkpoint bins to prevent it from escaping. TSA said the checkpoint lane was forced to close temporarily and Port Authority Police were called to remove the animal.

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“It’s common for travelers to accidentally leave items at the checkpoint,” TSA’s New Jersey Federal Security Director Tom Carter said in a press release. “Typically people leave items such as their keys, sunglasses, ID, hats and gloves, but this is the first time someone has left a snake behind. We have a fairly robust lost and found program that reunites passengers with their lost items, but this passenger doesn’t need to call us about his snake.”

According to the Department of Transportation’s latest guidelines on emotional support animals, it is up to an airline whether a snake is allowed to fly. An airline will not face federal punishment if it denies a passenger from bringing a snake on an aircraft.

“This snake did not catch his flight,” TSA spokesperson Lisa Farbstein told ABC.



TSA often shares unusual items its officers discover or confiscate at checkpoints.

In July, TSA officers at Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport discovered two missile launchers within a week in travelers’ checked bags.