Snake Not On A Plane


Security screeners spotted a scaly surprise while scanning a suitcase: a 4-foot-long boa constrictor making its way through an X-ray machine at Tampa International Airport.

In an Instagram post, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) said security officers found the snake curled up inside a carry-on bag last December.

The passenger told officers the boa was her “emotional support pet,” a TSA spokesperson said. The agency checked with her airline, who confirmed the snake would not be allowed on the plane while loose inside a suitcase.

TSA certainly did their job, and the snake – while trapped inside the luggage – presented no threat. And even loose, this snake would likely not be a threat. However, this mode of transit was a threat to the snake’s well-being.

And really, what’s an emotional support snake? I absolutely support emotional support animals, and believe we can have a human-animal bond with a snake. But really? Is this going too far?

According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, “An emotional support animal is an animal that provides relief to individuals with psychiatric disability through companionship.” Well, according to that definition – well, maybe a snake can qualify. If the snake is present it’s offering companionship by the literal definition of the word merely by being there. Arguably a better definition of emotional support animal may be needed.

You know what they say, ‘The snakes in Spain stay mainly on the plane.”