8 Outrageous Real-Life Animal Stowaways


You may have paid a hefty fare for your vacation trip, but sometimes there are “passengers” who haven’t paid at all.

Animal stowaways can be a problem no matter how your travel.

Ranging from curious neighborhood pets to dangerous carnivores, here are eight outrageous real-life animal stowaways!

On a Quatar airlines flight from Bangkok to Doha in March, Londoner Jake Buckingham took video of a small bird that had been hiding in an overhead bin for most of the flight but escaped into the cabin, flying around the airplane while it was traveling at 39,000 feet.

In May, an Air Canada flight was fully boarded when Vancouver baggage handlers discovered a raccoon in the cargo hold. Only seven hours later the “all clear” was given for departure as the raccoon had escaped across the runway.

In 2012, a Jack Russell terrier named Patch jumped on an Irish Rail train to Dublin from his home in County Kildare. Irish Rail tweeted a “Lost Dog!” message with his photo that garnered over 500 retweets within the hour. Miraculously, his owner saw the message and was reunited with her beloved pup. Patch’s hour on the train wasn’t so bad, as reports say he spent his trip being petted by adoring passengers.

Passengers were less thrilled to discover a foot-long non-venomous rat snake riding on a bullet train in Japan in 2016. One passenger discovered the snake when he went to use the armrest only to find the snake wrapped around it. The train made an unscheduled stop as soon as it could and shaken passengers exited their car allowing the train’s staff to remove it.

In 2015, an 80-pound black bear stowed away in a dumpster that was picked up by a garbage truck near Hume Lake, California and was driven all the way to Fresno!

“When I dumped the container, I saw all the employees running. I saw Cinnamon [the bear] running across the parking lot,” the truck driver said.

Cinnamon was safely captured and returned to the forest by the Fresno Police and California Department of Fish and Wildlife authorities.

In March, a bobcat was discovered running on the deck of a riverboat in Pittsburgh!

No one knows how the bobcat ended up on the boat, or even how it ended up in Pittsburgh, as no bobcats had been captured within the city in years.

Animal Care and Control officers safely captured the bobcat unharmed and delivered it to the Penn Hills Animal Rescue Wildlife Center.

In January, a pet rose-breasted cockatoo named Harri escaped from his owner’s home in Brisbane, Australia and was discovered on a cruise ship four days into its journey to New Zealand.

The cruise ship gave Harri his own cabin. Luckily, his owner had microchipped him and was notified of Harri’s travels.

Harri had all his health checks and was let back in Australia on the ship’s return to Brisbane.

In April, a British tourist was terrified to discover a venomous stowaway when he returned home from a trip to Africa.

When he unpacked his suitcase, a four-inch scorpion known as a “rusty thick-tail” fell out. The species is known to have a sting that, although non-fatal, feels like an electric shock.

Luckily, the traveler was able to trap the scorpion in a glass container and the scorpion was re-homed at a facility that cares for exotic animal species.

Remember to check your belongings before you travel! You never know what critter might have stowed away!