By Stacey Leasca
June 14, 2019
Southern Black Racer Snake
Credit: Adam Long/Getty Images

A 20-year-old man flying from Fort Lauderdale to Hawaii got the shock of his life when he found he accidentally brought a teeny, tiny, slithery stowaway with him on his journey.

The Associated Press reported the man was unaware a southern black racer snake had found its way into his backpack somewhere along his route. He didn’t discover the creature until he arrived all the way at his rental property in the community of Pukalani.

The non-venomous snake, officials told the AP, measured in at about a foot long and a quarter inch in diameter. Luckily, this one seemed to be fairly tiny — as NBC reported, the species can grow up to 6 feet in length.

After the snake slithered out of the man’s bag the property owner reportedly informed the visitor that snakes are illegal in the state. The owner then alerted the police, who were able to capture the snake with a little help from the Department of Land and Natural Resources. The team is expected to transfer the snake to Oahu.

Although the man appeared to have no know how the snake got in his bag, he could have gotten into serious trouble.

Transporting illegal pets is a felony in Hawaii, according to the AP, with fines up to $200,000 and 3 years in prison.

Oddly enough, this isn’t the first (or second or third) time a snake has accidentally hitched a ride on a plane.

In 2017, a passenger found a five-foot-long snake hiding under a duffle bag after its owner left it behind. In February of this year, a woman found a python hiding in her shoe that had escaped Australia with her. And, in 2018, scientists reported that brown tree snakes were purposefully boarding planes from Guam to Hawaii all on their own. Because really, who doesn’t love a vacation in Hawaii?

Next time you pack, maybe check your bags, shoes, and anywhere else a snake could be hiding. At the very least, ask it to cover its share of the airfare with you.