If you left your pet snake at a security checkpoint at the Newark airport, please return to claim it.
According to authorities, a 15-inch ring-necked snake was left at a checkpoint at Newark Liberty International Airport on Monday night.
The black snake with a yellow ring around its neck was spotted on the floor of the checkpoint in Terminal C by a little girl, said Transportation Security Administration spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein. The girl told an officer, who covered the snake with a bin and moved travelers in that line to another one, Farbstein said.
Ring-necked snakes are harmless and found from Canada to Florida and central Mexico, Farbstein said. They’re nocturnal and considered a bit out of the ordinary because they have a marked belly. When threatened, they typically curl up their tails and show their bright-colored bellies, which can be red, orange or pinkish, depending on the type.
Port Authority police were called, and they “secured the snake and removed it from the checkpoint.”
“The little girl ‘saw something and said something,’ ” Farbstein said, referring to the slogan TSA reminds travelers of often.
What happened to the traveling snake?
Farbstein said she didn’t know.
“People leave things at the checkpoint — usually hat, keys, a child’s toy, a coat,” Farbstein said. But, she noted, “the person who’s interested in contacting our lost and found office — don’t bother.
“We don’t have it there.”
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Farbstein said it was the first time “as far as we know” of a reptile being on the loose at a checkpoint. She said there have been cases of travelers trying to conceal snakes in suitcases and bags.
TSA does screen pets, and bringing “comfort pets” aboard airlines has become more common. Farbstein said she had “no idea if the snake was someone’s pet or a comfort pet.”