Most people would take home a boomerang or, depending on luggage space, a didgeridoo from a holiday in Australia. However, a Scottish woman was shocked when she flew home to Scotland from Queensland, Australia, with a stowaway snake curled up in one of her shoes.

Visitors to Australia are aware of the many strange and sometimes dangerous animals that live in Australia and the incident confirmed Moira Boxall’s fears.

Stowaway snake on board plane

As for the snake, he took an unexpected and unbelievable 9,300-mile journey on a plane, when all he wanted to do was take a nap.

It was when Moira unpacked her luggage back home that she discovered the small, and still very alive, snake inside her slip-on shoes. To add insult to injury, the snake had even shed its skin in her shoe.

The snake was later identified as being a spotted python, a non-venomous breed which is reportedly often kept as a pet. However, Boxall wasn’t really in the mood for a new addition to the family.

Family thought it was a toy prank

ABC News reports that Moira’s son-in-law, Paul Airlie in Queensland, had opened the bag and seen the errant snake.

However, he instantly believed it was a toy, put there as a deliberate prank. Airlie said that during Moira’s visit to Australia he had deliberately attempted to downplay how many snakes there were living in Queensland to avoid alarming her.

Once the surprise discovery had been made, Boxall placed the shoe, complete with its occupant, in the garden with a box on top to stop the snake escaping.

She then called Airlie, who got in touch with the Scottish RSPCA. According to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, the snake then safely took another journey to Edinburgh, where it is being kept in quarantine.

Scottish RSPCA responds

As noted by STV News, Taylor Johnstone, an animal rescue officer, confirmed they had removed the snake from a home in Bridge of Allan.

She said they responded to a call from a lady who had returned from a holiday in Australia with a small snake in her shoe, packed inside her suitcase.

Johnstone went on to say that when she arrived, she found the snake was properly contained and she removed it from the property. After the snake was examined, they found it to be a non-venomous spotted python. She said the stowaway snake is now at their rescue and rehoming centre in Edinburgh under quarantine.

Airlie said he was “very grateful” for the “extremely fast response” of the Scottish RSPCA. Airlie added that Boxall had said she isn’t too keen to return back to Australia to visit, but he suspects that she will, although she will have to think seriously about it before she does.