Published: February 16th 2012February 16th 2012
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SNAKES NEARLY ON A PLANE
AFP - Last Updated: 2:10 AM, December 27, 2011; Posted: 1:20 AM, December 27, 2011 BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — A Czech national was nabbed in Argentina for trying to board a trans-Atlantic flight with 247 live animals, including poisonous snakes and endangered reptiles, packed in a bulging suitcase, reports said yesterday.
Karel Abelovsky, 51, was caught while trying to board a flight for Madrid when baggage X-ray technicians and staff at the Iberia Airlines desk at Ezeiza Airport in greater Buenos Aires noticed “organic substances moving inside” a bag, local media reported. When they opened it, they found more than 200 reptiles and mollusks, among them nine species of poisonous snakes, including South American pit vipers, packed in plastic containers. There were also 15 venomous vipers, including two yararas, which can measure up to five feet, and several young boas. Two of the animals were found dead, and most of the others could have suffered the same fate due to a lack of oxygen if the suitcase had been placed in the plane’s cargo area.
Abelovsky faces up to 10 years in jail if convicted.
WOEFULTOURIST says – Many people are unaware that it’s an old Czech tradition, dating back centuries, to exchange gifts of poisonous snakes during the Christmas holidays. Something to do with commemorating when St Patrick chased all of the snakes out of - oops, sorry, wrong country. Never mind.