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Snake on a bullet train

An ultra high speed Japanese bullet train was forced to stop yesterday after a conductor discovered a snake coiled up in a passenger seat. The red and black Honduran milk snake was discovered at around 9AM on the Kodama 642 bullet train between Osaka and Kyoto.

The train was ordered to stop immediately at the next station whilst animal shelter staff intervened and captured the scaly critter. Fortunately, the Honduran milk snake is a non-venomous snake – not that this fact was known to the startled conductor at the time.

It is thought that the snake might have been brought on board by its owner in a container, before subsequently escaping. The red and black milk snakes are very popular domestic pets because of their vibrant, distinctive colouring and their relatively docile nature. The owner of the snake is currently being sought, although it is unknown whether or not bullet train operators will enforce a fine for the snake’s fare-dodging antics.

Japanese bullet trains are famous for very rarely stopping – or even slowing down – bar during exceptional events such as earthquakes and incidents involving people on the tracks. None of the 200 or so passengers were injured or harmed in any way, according to Central Japan Railway Co.