So you can imagine the surprise when biosecurity officials at Auckland Airport found a live snake on a plane that arrived from Australia on Sunday.
It was quickly captured by authorities, who used a bucket to contain the reptile.
“It appears the snake had crawled into the wheel housing of a private jet that arrived from Brisbane,” Craig Hughes from New Zealand’s Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) said in a statement.
MPI officials have yet to identify the species of snake, but it’s believed to be a brown tree snake.
They’re not a species considered dangerous to humans, but as the MPI pointed out, any foreign wildlife could be a threat to New Zealand’s environment and native creatures — as it found out the hard way with the Australian possum, which is a major pest.
The private jet had been parked in a remote bay for six weeks before making its way across the Tasman Sea to New Zealand.
No other snakes were found by authorities in the area or on the plane, but unfortunately for this travel-weary snake, it will likely be euthanised.
“We don’t have a snake population in New Zealand. Biosecurity officials are doing their best to make sure it stays that way,” Hughes said.