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Snakes on a train: Serpent spotted on train in northeast Taiwan

Tze-chiang Limited Express train makes emergency stop in Yilan over snake

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Snake spotted on train. (Passenger photo)

Snake spotted on train. (Passenger photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A snake was spotted on a Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) train early on Monday morning (April 18) in northeast Taiwan, causing a disruption to the morning commute.

As Tze-chiang Limited Express No. 272 was traveling from Miaoli County to Hualien County at 8:19 a.m., the conductor informed passengers that a snake was onboard, according to the Railway Police Bureau. After conducting a search, the conductor found a 90-centimeter-long snake slithering along the luggage rack in the No. 12 carriage.

The conductor made an emergency announcement, evacuated the passengers from the carriage, and sealed it off. The train then made an emergency stop at Yilan Station at 9:25 a.m., where firemen boarded the carriage and captured the reptile, causing an 8-minute delay.

Based on the photo, the Forestry Bureau says the snake appears to be a boa constrictor, which is nonvenomous. Because boa constrictors are not native to Taiwan, officials suspect it was a pet that had escaped from its owner on the train.

According to railway police, passengers who bring animals into the station area or onto a train without permission or in accordance with the regulations and do not heed warnings can face fines of between NT$1,500 (US$51) and NT$7,500 for violating the Railway Act (鐵路法).

Snakes on a train: Serpent spotted on train in northeast Taiwan
Snake spotted slithering above luggage rack. (Passenger photo)

Snakes on a train: Serpent spotted on train in northeast Taiwan
Passengers spot snake on handrail. (CNA photo)

Snakes on a train: Serpent spotted on train in northeast Taiwan
Firefighters capture snake.

Snakes on a train: Serpent spotted on train in northeast Taiwan

Snakes on a train: Serpent spotted on train in northeast Taiwan