Man Denied Entry to Russia for Trying to Smuggle Snakes Into St. Petersburg
Published: June 18, 2014 (Issue # 1816)
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.