Two snakes, each around 50 centimeters long, were discovered in a suitcase of a passenger arriving from Copenhagen at Keflavík International Airport on Sunday night. The snakes were confiscated and quarantined.
“People were naturally startled because we’re not used to handling snakes,” senior customs officer at Keflavík Kári Gunnlaugsson told Fréttabladid. The animals were discovered during a routine search.
“The snakes were just loose in the man’s luggage,” Gunnlaugsson described. “He took them out of the suitcase himself, so I wasn’t concerned that they were poisonous.”
Gunnlaugsson said the animals weren’t euthanized immediately because they could have belonged to a rare species, even an endangered species, although they might just as well have been a common species bought at a pet store.
The snakes later turned out to be pythons, probably from the species python regius, which are commonly used as pets around the world and rarely become any longer than 120 centimeters.
The pythons will be moved to the University of Iceland’s Institute for Experimental Pathology in Keldur, south Iceland, for further examination today and if they turn out to be of a common species, they will be euthenized.