Glasgow & West Scotland

Scottish woman's shock at finding snake in suitcase from Australia

Snake in a shoe Image copyright Scottish SPCA
Image caption Scottish SPCA staff removed the snake and put it into quarantine

When Maria Boxall found a snake in her luggage following a holiday in Australia, she thought it had been placed there by a member of her family.

But the Scottish grandmother quickly realised it was not a practical joke - when she touched it, it moved.

She had inadvertently transported the reptile in her suitcase on a flight from Queensland to Glasgow.

Mrs Boxall only discovered it hiding in a shoe - complete with shed skin - as she unpacked at her Stirlingshire home.

The snake was taken outside in the shoe and contained by a relative until Scottish SPCA staff arrived in Bridge of Allan.

It turned out to be a python, which is not dangerous.

Image copyright Scottish SPCA
Image caption The snake was curled up inside a shoe

Mrs Boxall's son-in-law Paul Airlie told the story of the international-travelling snake to an Australian radio station.

He said she had mentioned thinking she had seen a snake in her room over there before she left but had thought it was gone.

Scottish SPCA animal rescue officer Taylor Johnstone said: "I can confirm that we removed a snake from a property in Bridge of Allan.

"I responded to a call from a woman who had just returned from a holiday in Australia who had found a small snake inside her shoe in her suitcase.

Image copyright Scottish SPCA
Image caption The snake was taken outside and contained until the SSPCA would collect it.

"When I arrived, the snake had been contained by the caller, so I safely removed the snake from the property. Upon examination, the snake was found to be a spotted python which is not venomous.

The snake is in quarantine at our animal rescue and rehoming centre in Edinburgh."

It is thought the snake may be given to a zoo after it passes quarantine.

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