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By Minyvonne Burke
A Scottish woman unpacking Friday after a visit to Australia to see her daughter and son-in-law found she had brought back more than just selfies and good memories — she discovered a python hiding inside one of her shoes.
The snake, which had somehow made its way into Moira Boxall’s luggage and onto the plane completely undetected, had shed its skin during the 9,000-mile flight.
Paul Airlie told ABC Australia that as Boxall, his mother-in-law, was preparing to leave at the end of her visit, she thought she had seen a snake in her room. But she could not find anything even though she searched, and so she continued to pack up her belongings.
It wasn’t until Boxall arrived back at her home in Glasgow and started to unpack that she made the startling find.
“She was not at all expecting to find the snake when she was unpacking,” Airlie said.
Boxall thought the snake was a fake and assumed her son-in-law and her daughter, Sarah, had placed it in her shoe as a joke. But she quickly realized it wasn’t a prank when the reptile started to move when she poked it.
Thankfully, the snake that had slithered into her shoe was a spotted python, which isn’t poisonous. According to the Australia Zoo, the spotted python, one of the country’s smallest snakes, grows to a length of more than 4 feet, and is often found living in shrubs and woodlands and near caves along the coast.
While the snake didn’t pose a threat to Boxall, Airlie said his mother-in-law is hesitant to return to Australia.
“We had to get a friend to go and unpack the rest of the bag for her in case there was another one,” he said.
“She said she’s not so keen to come back and visit, but I suspect she will — she’ll have to think about it at first.”
The python was quarantined in Scotland and is expected to be taken to a zoo in Glasgow, according to ABC Australia.