Costa Rica News – It seems this squirrel wanted to get out of Costa Rica before Recope increases gas prices next week. Or perhaps he just needed to go on his Visa run.
Employees at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, Texas, received a surprise when they found a baby squirrel which had sneaked onto a plane.
The critter was apprehended by US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials earlier this month after it survived a flight from Costa Rica, a journey that normally takes about three to four hours.
Passengers had already disembarked when the squirrel was found by workers who were preparing the plane for its next flight.
A CBP officer and agricultural specialist boarded the aircraft and ‘caged the squirrel without incident,’ the agency said in a news release.
CBP Port Director Charles Perez said: ‘During the course of performing our mission, we may encounter unusual opportunities to aid in the capture of seemingly harmless animals that have hitchhiked into the country.
‘While there is a cute factor here, realistically, we understand that animals must be handled carefully.’
The CBP’s office in Central Texas tweeted a photo that showed an employee, wearing a glove, clutching the furry stowaway after it was discovered.
It said: ‘#CBP rescued this baby squirrel that arrived aboard an aircraft @iah; He’s in capable hands @USFWS_Southwest.’
The animal, which boasts rust-coloured fur, was quarantined and given food and water until it was handed over to a US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) inspector.
The USFWS is working with the Houston Zoo to find an appropriate home for the squirrel.
It’s not the first time a squirrel has been discovered on a Texas-bound flight.
In 2007 an American Airlines flight from Tokyo to Dallas was forced to make an unscheduled landing in Honolulu, Hawaii, after pilots heard ‘skittering’ noises in the space above the cockpit.
They suspected it was an animal and decided to land the plane because they feared the animal could have chewed through important wires.
Authorities euthanised the squirrel over fears it may have been infected with rabies.
By CHRIS KITCHING FOR MAILONLINE, Edited by Dan Stevens