MPI: Snake slipped through Japan bio checks

  • 18/04/2016
A Japanese rat snake of the same species (Getty)
A Japanese rat snake of the same species (Getty)

Just how a Japanese snake managed to sneak its way into an Auckland car yard is now being investigated by the Ministry for Primary Industries.

Ministry staff were called out to a used car yard on the North Shore following the discovery of the serpent in a Nissan on Sunday.

After several hours, they managed to find it under the bonnet and capture it.

The snake has been identified as a Japanese rat snake -- from Japan -- and wasn't venomous, a ministry spokesman says.

The job would now be to figure out how it got into the country.

"The initial biosecurity checks were carried out by an accredited company in Japan. MPI will be working with the operator to determine how the snake was missed," he said.

One or two snakes were intercepted each year coming into the country and most were unable to survive in New Zealand's climate, especially in winter, he said.

"They are normally not venomous and mostly arrive dead, due to fumigation," he said.