15-inch-long snake left behind at TSA checkpoint at New Jersey airport

Your belt? Understandable.

Your wallet? It stinks, but it happens.

But your pet snake? That may be a new one.

The Transportation Security Administration says it appears a traveler forgot their ring-neck snake at a checkpoint at Newark Liberty International Airport on Monday night, reports the Asbury Park Press, which is a part of the USA TODAY Network.

The 15-inch-long reptile was spotted by a young girl, who the TSA says “heeded the advice ‘if you see something, say something,'” and alerted a TSA officer. 

The officer placed a grey checkpoint bin over the thin black snake, which sports a bright yellow band around the back of its neck and is considered harmless, the TSA said in a news release.

The checkpoint lane was closed and passengers asked to clear the area. Port Authority police secured the snake and took it away, which allowed TSA to re-open the lane shortly after.

This ringed-neck snake made an appearance at a TSA checkpoint at Newark Liberty International Airport on Monday, Aug. 19.

This ringed-neck snake made an appearance at a TSA checkpoint at Newark Liberty International Airport on Monday, Aug. 19. (Photo: Courtesy of TSA)

“It’s common for travelers to accidentally leave items at the checkpoint,” said TSA New Jersey Federal Security Director Tom Carter.

“Typically people leave items such as their keys, sunglasses, ID, hats and gloves, but this is the first time someone has left a snake behind. We have a fairly robust lost and found program that reunites passengers with their lost items, but this passenger doesn’t need to call us about his snake.”

The release says the TSA screens a variety of pets at checkpoints, but it is up to individual airlines to make rules about pets allowed on planes.

Need a full list of what you can cannot bring on airplanes? Visit tsa.gov/travel/security-screening/whatcanibring/all.

SOURCE USA Today