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Mandarin rat snake grounds Qantas 747

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By Euronews
Mandarin rat snake grounds Qantas 747

<p>A small, exotic snake has been found on a Qantas Boeing 747 airliner, grounding 370 passengers in Sydney overnight.</p> <p>Staff discovered the 20-centimetre Mandarin rat snake near to the door of the passenger cabin late on Sunday evening, before passengers were due to board the flight, Qantas said in a statement.</p> <p>The Asian snake, which is mildly venomous and about the width of a pencil, is thought to have boarded the flight from Singapore the day before.</p> <p>Passengers due to travel on the Tokyo-bound flight were given overnight hotel rooms in Sydney and left on a replacement plane the following morning. Qantas said that the original jet would be fumigated before returning to service.</p> <p>According to the Agricultural Department, the snake was taken into quarantine and had been euthanised as, “exotic reptiles of this kind can harbour pests and diseases not present in Australia.” </p> <p>Canberra Reptile Zoo herpetologist Peter Child emphasised that, although it does not pose a threat to humans, the snake could have caused havoc in the Australian environment if it had escaped with a mate.</p>