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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, Aug. 30


Break out the tweed and channel your inner Englishman during the English Hunt Picnic this afternoon organized by the Bagmut stables from Krasny Bor in the Leningrad Oblast. Equestrian stunts, English archery and classic hunting fashion will all be available to visitors hoping to live like the characters in Downton Abbey if only for a day. Tickets for the event cost 7,900 rubles ($219.40).


Bookworms will have their chance to swap out well-read classics for something new for their bookshelves at Knigovorot, a free book exchange that will be held in the Yusupov Garden on Sadovaya Ulitsa today. Come for the chance to get a new book or take the opportunity to discuss the literary merits of your favorite authors with fellow fans.



Sunday, Aug. 31


The Neva Delta International Blues Festival wraps up this afternoon on Vasilevsky Island with a concert featuring not only some of Russias best blues bands but international stars as well. Admission is free for all three days of the festival, which begins on Aug. 29, and the shows starting at 5 p.m. each day.



Monday, Sept. 1


Today marks the beginning of Lermontov-Fest, a fall festival celebrating the life of one of Russias most remarkable poets who, in a fate eerily similar to Pushkins, was killed in a duel at the age of 26. Organized by the Lermontov Library System, the next several months will see art exhibitions, concerts and public lectures focusing on the Lermontovs short yet prolific career. Check the Lermontov Library Systems website for more details.



Tuesday, Sept. 2


Join expats and practice your Russian during the Russian Clubs weekly meetings every Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. The club is free to participate in although you need to be a registered member of Couchsurfing.



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