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Man Denied Entry to Russia for Trying to Smuggle Snakes Into St. Petersburg

Published: June 18, 2014 (Issue # 1816)



  • A passenger aboard a commercial flight from Germany was turned away at the boarder for carrying 180 live snakes, lizards, frogs and turtles in his hand luggage.
    Photo: OliBac / Flickr

In an incident recalling the film "Snakes on a Plane," hundreds of reptiles took to the skies after being smuggled onto a passenger flight — only this time the route was not Honolulu-Los Angeles but Düsseldorf-St. Petersburg.

The press service for the regional branch of the animal health watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor reported Tuesday that it had stopped a passenger, who was attempting to bring 180 exotic reptiles into Russia via St. Petersburg's Pulkovo Airport.

The man, who had flown in from Germany's Düsseldorf, was carrying 180 live snakes, lizards, frogs and turtles in his rucksack and cabin baggage, Interfax reported, citing the agency.

Lacking the necessary paperwork, the reptile-lover was placed on the first flight back to Germany, the watchdog said, without specifying whether his live cargo joined him on board.

Things could have been much worse.

In the 2006 film "Snakes on a Plane," starring Samuel L. Jackson, several passengers are killed when a crateful of venomous snakes escape from the hold.

The film premiered to mixed reviews, grossing $62 million in movie takings worldwide.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Saturday, Nov. 1


The men and women who dedicate their lives to fitness get their chance to compete for the title of best body in Russia at today’s Grand Prix Fitness House PRO, the nation’s premier bodybuilding competition. Not only will men and women be competing for thousands of dollars in prizes and a trip to represent their nation at Mr. Olympia but sporting goods and nutritional supplements will also be available for sale. Learn more about the culture of the Indian subcontinent during Diwali, the annual festival of lights that will be celebrated in St. Petersburg this weekend at the Culture Palace on Tambovskaya Ul. For 100 rubles ($2.40), festival-goers listen to Indian music, try on traditional Indian outfits and sample dishes highlighting the culinary diversity of the billion-plus people in the South Asian superpower.



Sunday, Nov. 2


Check out the latest video and interactive games at the Gaming Festival at the Mayakovsky Library ending today. Meet with the developers of the popular and learn more about their work, or learn how to play one of their creations with the opportunity to ask the creators themselves about the exact rules.



Monday, Nov. 3


Non-athletes can get feed their need for competition without breaking a sweat at the Rock-Paper-Scissors tournament this evening at the Cube Bar at Lomonosova 1. Referees will judge the validity of each matchup award points to winners while the city’s elite fight for the chance to be called the best of the best. Those hoping to play must arrange a team beforehand and pay 200 rubles ($4.80) to enter.



Tuesday, Nov. 4


Attend the premiere of Canadian director Xavier Dolan’s latest film “Mommy” at the Avrora theater this evening. The fifth picture from the 25-year-old, it is the story of an unruly teenager but the most alluring (or unappealing) aspect is the way the film was shot: in a 1:1 format that is more reminiscent of Instagram videos than cinematic art. Tickets cost 400 rubles ($9.60) and snacks and drinks will be available.



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