A man tried to bring a python onto a plane in Miami by hiding it inside a computer hard drive, according to a news report. He and the snake did not make the Barbados-bound flight, authorities said.
The incident unfolded Sunday at a screening area at Miami International Airport. According to the Miami Herald, a Transportation Security Administration officer noticed something odd inside a piece of checked luggage.
Sari Koshetz, a TSA spokeswoman, told the newspaper that a bomb expert then examined the bag and found the python — still alive — inside the hard drive.
In a Twitter message, Koshetz said the snake was “artfully concealed” inside the hard drive.
“This organic mass was not explosive,” she tweeted, “but it shows you can’t hide any threat from us.”
Officials did not say how big the snake was, why the man had it or what airline was involved.
The snake, Koshetz told the paper, was “obviously not an imminent terrorist threat.” But, she said it was a “possible wildlife threat.”Animals have gotten loose on planes and have been known to “chew through wires with fatal results,” she said.
The snake was taken into custody by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the man was fined.
Authorities did not release the man’s name.
There have been other incidents of passengers trying to get animals through airport security checkpoints.
One man strapped snakes and turtles to his body and tried to get past a security checkpoint at the Miami airport, and a woman once hid a snake in her bra at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, according to the Herald.
The Herald said the animals were confiscated before they made it onto a plane.