Snake on a train: passengers evacuated after boa constrictor appears on luggage rack

Passengers were evacuated from a train car after a boa constrictor was spotted slithering along the luggage rack on a Taiwan Railways limited express train this morning, April 18.

The conductor on the Ziqiang Class limited express No. 272 from Miaoli to Hualien received a report of a snake on the luggage racks of car No. 12 as the train arrived at Ruifang Station, New Taipei City at 8:19 am. The conductor ordered passengers out of the car and notified the firefighters in Yilan City as the train continued towards Yilan Station.

Experts from the Taiwan Forestry Bureau viewed pictures of the snake and identified it as a non-venomous boa constrictor with a length of around 1 meter. At 9:25 am, firefighters boarded the train after it arrived at Yilan Station, and captured it by hand. It was noted that the snake species originates from South America, and is not a native species in Taiwan. Therefore it is suspected that a passenger carried the snake as a pet, and that it probably escaped from the passenger’s luggage.

Firefighters capture snake on train in Yilan City, Taiwan
Firefighters capture snake on train in Yilan City, Taiwan, April 18, 2022.

Taiwan Railway Administration said that snakes are prohibited animals on TRA trains, and will investigate and fine the offending passenger according to Article 71, Paragraph 1, Subparagraph 8 of the Railway Law with a penalty of between NT$1,500 to NT$7,500.

Snake in cage
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