Plane snake may have spent weeks in woman’s shoe

The snake was taken outside and contained.. Image copyright Scottish SPCA
Image caption The snake is being looked after by the Scottish SPCA in Edinburgh

A woman who accidentally smuggled a snake onto a plane home from Australia has revealed it could have been hiding in her shoe for three weeks.

Moira Boxall discovered the slithery souvenir when she unpacked her suitcase after arriving back home in Scotland.

The grandmother has been speaking about her shock experience for the first time.

She said she thought the python’s skin was a piece of bubble wrap.

Mrs Boxall spoke to BBC Scotland’s John Beattie Programme.

She said: “I was staying with my daughter who is living in Mackay, Queensland, for a short while.

“A few weeks before I came home, I had woken up in the early hours of the morning with a crash.

“I went to the window and a plant pot had been knocked onto the floor.

“When I looked on the floor, it was a snake.”

Moira ran to get her daughter, but by the time she came back to the room, it had gone.

A snake catcher could not find it the next morning and guessed the snake had gone out the way it had come in.

‘Bubble wrap’

The next time she saw the snake was weeks later when she was back home in Bridge of Allan.

She explained: “I took this canvas shoe out. I thought it was bubble wrap inside it, not knowing it was the skin it had shed.

“I started trying to get rid of this bubble wrap and this tail came out and I thought my daughter had played a joke on me – it had become a joke in Australia.

“But when it started moving I realised it wasn’t a joke.

“I don’t know how I got downstairs. But by the time I got downstairs with the shoe it had come out.

“I saw the head and the fangs.”

The snake was a 2ft long spotted python.

Image copyright Scottish SPCA
Image caption Mrs Boxall thought it was bubble wrap in the shoe

She said:”It was quite a shock. I think it was quite a young one. It wasn’t poisonous but if it had bitten me I could have been ill.”

But despite the fright, she says she feels sorry for the creature.

“The poor thing has come from its native country to this cold place.

“I feel sorry for it.

“But I still don’t like them.”

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