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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

Sunday, Oct. 26


Zenit St. Petersburg returns home for the first time in nearly a month as they host Mordovia Saransk in a Russian Premier League game. Currently at the top of the league thanks to their undefeated start to the season, the northern club hopes to extend the gap between them and second-place CSKA Moscow and win the title for the first time in three years. Tickets are available at the stadium box office or on the club’s website.



Monday, Oct. 27


Today marks the end of the art exhibit “Neophobia” at the Erarta Museum. Artists Alexey Semichov and Andrei Kuzmin took a neo-modernist approach to represent the array of fears that are ever-present throughout our lives. Tickets are 200 rubles ($4.90).



Tuesday, Oct. 28


The Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel plays host to SPIBA’s Marketing and Communications Committee’s round table discussion on “Government Relations Practices in Russia” this morning. The discussion starts at 9:30 a.m. and participation must be confirmed by Oct. 24.



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