That’s some sssssouvenir: British holidaymaker flies 9,300 miles from Australia to Scotland only to find a stowaway PYTHON hidden in one of her shoes
- A Scottish tourist found a snake in her suitcase at home after a trip to Australia
- Moira Boxall saw the spotted python shedding its skin in one of her canvas shoes
- She initially thought the snake was fake and planted by family members as a joke
A Scottish tourist was shocked to find she had carried a snake in her suitcase more than 9,000 miles after returning home from a summer trip to Australia.
Moira Boxall found the python shedding its skin inside one of her shoes on Friday, following a 9,300-mile trip to family members in Mackay, Central Queensland.
She thought her son-in-law Paul Airlie and his wife Sarah had planted a fake snake in her shoe as a joke until she touched the spotted python and it moved.
‘She absolutely lost it – it was her first real encounter with a snake,’ Mr Airlie told the ABC.
Moira Boxall found a spotted python shedding its skin inside one of her shoes (pictured), following a visit to family members in Queensland
Ms Boxall stayed with her son-in-law Paul Airlie (right) with his wife Sarah (left) during her summer holiday in Mackay
Ms Boxall had woken Mr Airlie at about 3am because she thought she had seen a snake in her room a few days before she left.
Mr Airlie said his wife Sarah had helped Ms Boxall pack.
‘Obviously she just picked the shoe up and stuck it in the bag and then it was there,’ he said.
‘She was not at all expecting to find the snake when she was unpacking a bag when she got back to Scotland.
‘We searched the room and there was no snake. However, it turns out there was a snake, as it had gone and hidden in her shoe.’
Mr Airlie had down played the fact that snakes were common in Queensland during Ms Boxall’s stay.
She called Mr Airlie in Australia who phoned the Scottish RSPCA to report a potentially venomous snake had travelled all the way to Scotland.
Ms Boxall had put the shoe in the garden with a box over it.
The python had shed its skin during the flight, in a process called Ecdysis, to get rid of parasites that may have become attached to it
Ms Boxall initially thought Mr Airlie and Sarah had planted a fake python in her shoe as a joke until she touched it and it moved. The snake was non-venomous and is being kept in quarantine
Fortunately, the spotted python – a common pet – was non-venomous – although they can give skin punctures that can cause severe lacerations.
The python had shed its skin during the flight, in a process called Ecdysis, to get rid of parasites that may have become attached to it.
Mr Airlie said he was unsure if his mother-in-law would return to Australia anytime soon after the frightening experience.
The python is in quarantine and could be housed in a Glasgow Zoo.