Scottish grandmother Moira Boxall returned from a trip to Australia to discover a snake curled up inside a shoe in her suitcase.

The reptile, which had smuggled itself onto her 9,000-mile flight from Queensland to Glasgow, had begun shedding its skin during the journey.

Paul Airlie, Ms Boxall’s son-in-law, told Australian broadcaster ABC News that the grandmother had initially mistaken the creature for a toy placed in her luggage as a prank.

After realising the snake was real, she covered the shoe with a box and called Airlie, who contacted the Scottish SPCA.

The reptile was found curled up in a shoe after the 9,000 mile flight. Pic: SPCA
Image:
The reptile was found curled up in a shoe after the 9,000 mile flight. Pic: SPCA

Scottish SPCA animal rescue officer Taylor Johnstone said: “I can confirm that we removed a snake from a property in Bridge of Allan.

“I responded to a call from a woman who had just returned from a holiday in Australia who had found a small snake inside her shoe in her suitcase.

“When I arrived, the snake had been contained by the caller, so I safely removed the snake from the property.”

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Ms Boxall is apparently not keen to return to Australia after the ordeal, her son-in-law said.

The SPCA later identified the snake as a non-venomous spotted python and said it is now in quarantine in Edinburgh.

The snake had begun shedding its skin during the flight. Pic: SPCA
Image:
The snake had begun shedding its skin during the flight. Pic: SPCA

This is not the first time snakes have attempted to stow away on planes.

A study by scientists from the University of Queensland found brown tree snakes, which devastated bird populations on Guam, travelled to the Pacific island by hitching a ride on military planes during World War II.

In 2018, a man tried to sneak a python onto a Barbados-bound flight from Miami by hiding it inside a computer hard drive.