Snake hitches ride across the Tasman

4:59 pm on 27 March 2017

A snake has hitched a ride across the Tasman on a private jet.

Snake flies on plane from Brisbane to Auckland

Staff spotted the snake on the tarmac yesterday and caught it using a bucket. Photo: Supplied

The Ministry for Primary Industries said the snake was spotted on Auckland Airport's tarmac yesterday.

Airport staff caught it using a bucket, before a snake handler arrived.

Biosecurity staff searched the plane and tarmac, but found no sign of other snakes.

It appeared the snake crawled into the wheel housing of the private jet, which arrived in Auckland from Brisbane.

The ministry said the snake was yet to be identified, but it was most likely a brown tree snake.

The snake was in poor condition when it was caught, but still alive. It would likely be euthanised, the ministry said.

While brown tree snakes are not particularly dangerous to humans, they could severely harm New Zealand's native bird population.

Ten days ago, police shot an explosives detector dog, Grizz, after it ran onto Auckland Airport's runway.