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Last Updated: Friday, 2 September 2005, 10:13 GMT 11:13 UK
Stowaway frogs delay holiday jet
A tree frog (library)
The frogs are thought to have hitched a free flight from Cuba
Two stowaway frogs grounded an airliner for an hour at Cardiff International Airport, it has emerged.

The Monarch Airways flight to Florida with more than 300 passengers on board was delayed on the taxi-way while the frogs hopped around the cargo hold.

It is thought the Cuban tree frogs had jumped into the aircraft's luggage bay while suitcases were being loaded in Cuba for the flight to Britain.

One of the frogs died but the other is being looked after at customs.

The 0830 BST flight to Orlando took off without incident once the frogs were captured by airline staff.

An airport spokeswoman said: "Sadly one of the little frogs died, the conditions in the hold of the plane were not what it needed - an environment of warmth and high humidity.

"The surviving frog is currently being cared for by a revenue and customs officer, and the is thriving in the correct environment".

The plane was making it round the airport to the runway when the captain came on the intercom to tell the passengers that the trip could not go ahead until the stowaways had been found.

Airport health officials were called in to help with the operation to trap the transatlantic interlopers.

Cardiff International Airport
The holiday flight to Florida was delayed while the frogs were caught

Passenger John Wake said: "We couldn't believe our ears. We've all heard strange excuses for delays - but never because of stowaway frogs.

"We were amazed when the pilot said we were being delayed by frogs in the hold.

"We've heard of leaves on the line stopping train services but this was ridiculous. Everyone had been ready for take off and were not very happy about the delay.

"The pilot was really exasperated and apologised for the delay.

Identification

"He told us what he would like to have done with the frogs - but couldn't repeat it over the intercom."

A Monarch Airlines spokeswoman said: "Two frogs were found in the hold of the aircraft, which had previously operated from Cuba to Manchester.

"Following the assessment customs officials removed the frogs from the hold and the flight was cleared for departure."




SEE ALSO:
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'Frog's glue' could mend knees
08 Oct 04 |  Health
Rush hour relief for breeding frogs
30 Mar 04 |  South East Wales
The ride of their lives
07 Aug 02 |  Science/Nature


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